While this isn't a replacement for make, you may be interested in ShipWright from BestPractical, makers of Request Tracker.
From the blog announcement:
We've built a new source (and binary) packaging system called
Shipwright. Shipwright allows you to track all of your package's
dependencies in a version control repository like SVN or SVK as
well as build order and build instructions.
It comes with tools for importing Perl modules, C libraries and
other dependencies from CPAN, upstream version control repositories
and tarballs. When it can discover dependency information (as it
can for Perl modules), Shipwright will automatically import the
current versions of all listed dependencies if the repository doesn't
already contain sufficient versions.
Shipwright can automatically set up build instructions for projects
using autoconf as well as projects using Perl's MakeMaker,
Module::Install and Module::Build mechanisms. If necessary, you
can customize the build instructions and dependency ordering after
you import a package.