Debian NYC will be holding a workshop next week: What's in a Package? will happen at 7:00pm New York time on October 27, 2010. If you're in the New York area, interested in packaging things for debian and related systems, or just want to understand the packages in your system better, you should RSVP and come on out!
This workshop will provide advanced theory useful for people modifying or creating packages. For people modifying packages, you'll learn many typical motifs and about various build systems. For creating packages, you'll be much better prepared to read and understand guides a deep level. However, this is still not a step-by-step guide in "how to build packages", but will get you very close to there.
See you there!