"Brain dead"? No it isn't. I use almost the same method for generating file lists for source installs, because many makefiles do not include an "uninstall" target, so it saves a lot of time when I want to remove a program. I also exclude mounted network shares. Sometimes I will install everything in a single directory using the --prefix option for ./configure, for an application that I know I'm probably going to test and remove, but that presents its own problems- like program documentation that assumes certain file locations, so you have to spend more time making sure config files and commands reflect the correct filepaths. And it puts files in illogical locations, instead of config files in /etc, logfiles in /var, and so forth.
Package installs really don't pertain to source installs. :)