If you've exhausted all other options, it might be time to compile from source, even in Debian.
If you're about to do that though, don't abandon the concept of .deb files and the advantages they bring with versioning and easy removal. Use "checkinstall".
Checkinstall is in the standard Debian repositories and encapsulates your install into a nice, easily installable and distributable .deb file. apt-getting it and reading the manual is easy enough, but if you want a howto, falkotimme.com has a nice one, archived here as a PDF.