David - I understand everything.  (I mean, everything you say, not like, everything in the world!)  and I appreciate your feedback.  I guess I break down and pick up cygwin's emacs just to build cedet.  I'll also check the refs you point out.

Thanks again!

2012/11/13 David Engster <deng@randomsample.de>
Nate Schley writes:
> By MSYS, I guess you're referring to the libraries GNU picks up when they build
> the "NT" version of emacs - true?

Kind of. I'm not really fluent with this stuff. It is used to build the
native Emacs Windows port, AFAIK.

> I'm suspicious....  Blaming MSYS would be easier to swallow if
> - I had *not* been building cedet this way for years on many versions of emacs
> & cedet.
> - I had *not* built cedet off bzr's trunk at least 3 times prior with the very
> same version of emacs I'm using today.
> - I had anything *on* a d: drive

I've no idea how that 'd:' gets there, but it has happened before. See
the thread "Latest CEDET on BZR does not compile with emacs 24.1" which
took place on this list recently. I guess it has to do with the native
Emacs not understanding the Cygwin mounts. I think the Cygwin FAQ has
something about that.

> Apparently something has changed at least once recently with how cedet is
> config'd to generate and how it does generate autoloads between versions 8392
> and 8398.  Why else would the builds for the 2 versions fail differently.

I already gave my best guess:

>>     This is the same issue. The latest checkout hangs because since
>>     rev. 8393 the build script repeatedly tries to remove the built-in CEDET
>>     version, which it cannot do because of path conversion (see below).

I'm building CEDET regularly under Cygwin using Cygwin-Emacs, and it
works without problems; that's all I can say. You can then use the
compiled CEDET with the native Emacs port if you want to.