After my horrible time with PDE, I have Tycho a whirl today. I must say the whole experience was much more pleasant (despite the unfriendly Tycho home page at tycho.sonatype.org – don’t go there!).
As before, I tried to build BIRT. Unfortunately, I failed (but much faster and I know why): Tycho 0.10.0 can’t resolve extra JAR dependencies: TYCHO-533 Tycho should honor jars.extra.classpath
If you want to get started with Tycho, visit this page. There is an exemplary POM and lots of other bits and pieces.