[...] especially when I've wanted to build only parts of it [...]

A few posts ago there was a reference to the tool: http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_38_0/tools/bcp/bcp.html

This might be of help to you. I don't know if bcp needs to be build with boost or is written in python (or any other interpreted language), so that you can start using it from the scratch.

With Kind Regards,