I am a recent convert to emacs. My vast majority of development is in Java EE and I have not found an easy way to get the functionality in eclipse into emacs. So I still use eclipse for this.
However, I like to tinker with C++ and I wanted to get some of the CDT functionality into emacs. In truth, I have used very little CDT so my expectations from emacs will be set differently. Considering that emacs has been used for C/C++ development for decades, I am hopeful that it will be more feature-rich than eclipse or any of the other IDE’s like Anjuta, Code::Blocks etc (both I have tried to use).
First things first. In the world of Java, I am a massive fan of maven which makes build management so easy and simple. Having used it now for years, it is easy to forget how much of a learning curve it had to get started.
Autotools are a massive pain to use and has a very steep learning curve. I have used it in the past to set up build environments and it works fine. pkg-config is pretty awesome and in a lot of ways, maven does pale in comparison. i.e. instead of having maven pull in dependencies, you just use your systems package manager like apt-get or yum and it installs the libraries for you.