You are right, of course. But I would add that on occasion one learns a lot by going outside of all repositories. For example, etm, an older version of which is in the VL repositories, was not in any slackware or debian repository when I started using it, and is still not in the debian repositories. However I use it daily, hourly. Etm is one of those programs that seems to be in a constant state of flux and development. Just the other day, it branched into a completely new gui, being etmtk, rather than etmqt, and I switched along with it.. For the most part, the older versions still work. However, until etm settles down, I think it best to just install it from the etm site at Duke University. It would probably be too much work to keep it up to date in the repositories.This is why I love VL. If etm had busted my system (ergo my nickname), I would have not been embarrassed to come, hat in hand, to the VL forum and ask for help.
BTW, I have been using etm for about 3 years now.