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>You'd get a lot more done if you dropped the NIH routine

Depends. The invention part can be educational and fun (for me, I'd call 
it a hobby). For example, I use Lua in my day job, but mostly as a 
replacement for those AWK one-and-two liners which are handier on a 
Windows box that VBS, Powershell, BAT, etc. (Lua patterns do 99% of what I 
need; that extra 1% can be hand-hacked using string.match with a function 
instead of a replacement string.) But I maintain my own Lua build tree for 
Linux and Windows in my own time. 

Why? Why not just use LuaBinaries? 

Because it's there, I suppose. 

>studied other open source build systems already out there

There are sufficiently many, surely, that one more can't hurt.

>ripped the lid off of one

Woman called Pandora did that, IIRC :-)

>and slapped your ideal Lua interface on it.

Why not the other way round? Take Lua, and slap your ideal build system on 
it. Much more fun. Probably a much more compact result. (Ant, hahahaha.)