Folks keep talking about linking a static libfoo.a into a dynamic
libbar.so. This MUST NOT HAPPEN. Linking non-PIC code into a shared
object will fail in unpredictable ways. It may _appear_ to work, but it
really won't. The Solaris linker will usually scream bloody murder and
error out. Linux/gnu ld tend to fail to enforce this, and leave the
errors for runtime.
The libtool non-static convenience lib stuff sounds like it does the
right thing, but I haven't looked at it to be sure.
If I have some time this weekend, I'll try building the dev/libtool
branch and provide more feedback, as I install every package into it's
own tree, so I will trigger any missing RPATH issues.