I've always disliked make. Recently, I decided to give scons a try for compiling C and C++ projects. So far I like it - although I'm not yet familiar with all of it, it seems like a much nicer way to achieve the same results.

I'm not sure how popular scons is now - its mailing list seems half-deserted. Maybe there are better options these days? Anyway, so far I'm happy I'm using it instead of make.