I am not familiar with the "Alpaca" book, can you elaborate? And any other suggestions you have would be most appreciated.
One of the better ones I've read is Large-Scale C++ Software Design, which was recommended by a presenter at one of the OSCONs. His paper was on large-scale software dev in Perl, as well. The book is C++ slanted, but focuses more on concepts than code, making is more generally useful.