I boot Windows between 4 and 20 times a day - day in and day out. If it did this I'd have noticed. I only boot OS/2 once a month or so but it hasn't either, not in the last decade and a half anyway.
As for a missing package - stock standard install - [*] Desktop, [*] Web Server, [*] File Server, [*] Print Server, [*] Mailserver, [*] Standard.
So apparently it was the Debian crew that thought this mysterious package of yours was optional.
Fortunately I found a futile request for help for this problem. No help was provided, of course, but in a day or two the guy stumbled on the cause and posted it. He suggested configure-debian as the easiest way to correct the problem - Etch does not install configure-debian by default, of course.
Your statement "I disinclined to help" is pretty typical of what I see out there so I don't bother to ask. I see hundreds of requests for help that are never answered - except by newbies clogging up the search engines with wild guesses.
And yes, these problems do annoy me - because they costs me billable hours. I'm not on somebody's payroll, I'm the guy who has to meet payroll. So are my clients.