I'm sorry, but "stable distro" and "latest versions of A, B, C" just don't jibe.
Whenever I really needed installing non-official software like that, after much looking around I usually decided not to do it. And when I did, the "application A" for which I truly, really, no-other-option-works, had to get a later version it was something very localized (not exactly (pieces off) newest Gnome or KDE), and I installed that from source (and created a package for simple installation/update). The "dependency hell problems" mentioned mostly just weren't.
Where I did install a larger set of stuff was when we had Suns with Solaris, where many pieces were almost useless (like the infamous cc or its klunky sh, or its bloated beyond recognition version of X) . There the first step was what somebody called
GNU > /usr/local (which did include X Windows, TeX and an assortment of other pieces). But it was still done carefully and as limited as reasonable.
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