What if the distribution wants to run on a DSP based architecture with hard memory and storage limits?
In a sense, it is nearly always cross-compilation unless you compile Gentoo-style on the target box.
I'd say use the best tool for the box. Being able to cross-compile well also means that if ARM128 or PowerSparcWhatever would arrive, it could be used to do those x86-64 builds on.
So cross-compilation really solves tomorrows problems also if it means 'compile on the fastest system' and not 'compile on x86-64'.
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