Out of curiosity, how long did you run Debian?
When I was using Red Hat and NetBSD, I disparaged package managers and thought they were annoying, frustrating, and caused more problems then they fixed.
I finally gave Debian a try because I'd heard that it actually did package management "right". At first, I was skeptical that Debian would be worth my time, and I felt justified in that belief, as Debian isn't overly friendly on introduction.
The install isn't hard really, but it expects you to know what you're doing, and especially when I first installed it, before tasksel, going through every single package in dselect was. . . tedious. ;-)
So I used it, and after a few months, I realized that it really wasn't all that bad. A few more months, and I grudgingly admitted that it was pretty good. Finally, I realized that I loved it. It's not just that apt-get rocks (which it does), but it's how it gives you so much control over the whole process.
If I want to install/upgrade packages without thought, then 'apt-get update && apt-get upgrade' will do it for me. If I want to look at the source before installing, 'apt-get source package' will get it for me. I can even patch and tinker with it, before then building that source into a Debian package.
That was when I really started to appreciate Debian. It allows you exactly as much micromanaging over what it does as you want, or as little. ;-)
A friend of mine who's recently become a Debian convert said of Debian:
"Debian is like milk. From what you've heard, it's good, but no one can give you a real reason, so it seems rather bland. Then you try it, and you start to think that it's gone sour on you, as it's got an archaic installer and isn't very pretty. However, if you give it enough time, you find yourself with a perfectly aged cheese, tangy, but delectible, and well worth it."