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> That means you can stick your setup file on a brand-new machine, start emacs, and all your packages auto-install themselves and start working.

This is easy to do with package.el:

(defvar my-packages '(starter-kit scpaste paredit))

(dolist (p my-packages) (when (not (package-installed-p p)) (package-install p)))

I think el-get made sense before community package sources like Marmalade and MELPA existed, but I don't see the point these days.

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