I need SSL support for checking my email and after doing some very quick reading somebody suggested apt-build. This did the job very quickly. I used
apt-build build mail-notificationand then edited debian/rules to comment out the
--disable-sslline before finally running
apt-build install mail-notificationto compile and install mail-notification with SSL support. For some reason the actualy install didn't work but a quick
dpkg -ion the resulting package did the trick.
Not as customisable as FreeBSD's ports or Gentoo's ebuilds, but a very neat feature that shows the designers of apt really thought things through.
Now I receive great notifications when I receive new email: