PDE Build is somewhat of a black art in the Eclipse community. In my opinion, it’s something that we just lack tooling for. The situation is really no different than it was back in the day in creating an Eclipse RCP-based product without the product tooling (remember, it was an easy 58 steps and modifying a ton of config files ;p). Unfortunately, the tooling effort around PDE build has never really made it into plan, however, the greatness that is the Eclipse community seems to have started a solution: introducing PluginBuilder. I suggest people support or contribute to the project. In the future, I would like to even see something like it in PDE UI. Eclipse is you, right ;)?