(c) it's virtually impossible to remove XFree packages from a Debian installation and not remove every other program that uses X on the system, which is why I had to just plain install source-built XF over the top of the Debian installed one.You're talking crazy talk. The client-side libraries are the only thing that X clients depend upon. You can have X applications installed on a Debian system with _no_ X server. An X application only needs the client libraries to talk to whatever server it feels like.
I've never even cracked the bindings of XFree source. I imagine, that it's probably a myriad of horrible hacked crap dating back 10-15 years or more in several places.No, actually most of the code (excepting the display drivers) is quite clean, modular, and well-documented. But you couldn't be bothered to look before spouting off a sensational opinion, could you now?