Wait, what? The point of the distro's central repository is so that one can simply do "apt-get install $foo" and obtain a $foo that's been integrated with the system, and at least tested by someone other than the software's author. You're not required to use the central repository; you just can't expect to be able to mix-and-match software from the central repo and external sources. This isn't user-hostile, this is by design; see examples of "rpm hell" and "dll hell" for reasons why you'd want to stick to software from one source. Also note that you're not required to use the distribution; want stale-but-known packages? Use Debian Stable. Want more up-to-date but less-tested stuff? Use the latest Ubuntu release. Want to be able to compile and customize everything yourself? Use Slackware or Gentoo.