Having to generate a plugin repository makes our install process more arduous than it needs to be and makes it more difficult for packagers. It would be nice if we did not need to maintain a repository or to copy plugins to a local repository - this would make enabling plugins faster, and also eliminate a whole class of bugs - see bug 324147 for an example. Possibly we need to treat all plugins as _installed_, but not necessarily _enabled_? Would this also allow us to show the plugin's icon in the plugin browser?
I don't believe that Banshee uses a repository. Perhaps we could model after them?