I've tried to use cmake instead of make, because everybody says it's simple. Maybe it is a little bit simpler, but it was as uncomfortable to use as make. Not really much difference. I've never found a decent build system.
Too bad. I transitioned from hand written Makefiles to CMake (which creates Makefiles for me :-) and was happier than ever. For C++ I seed nothing that works as good and has the same tool compatibilty. But CMake ist still far from being perfect.
Have you ever used autotools?
Oh yeah, tweaking .am files and configure.in cost me so much time, I will never touch that again :-)