Let me explain what I mean by locality and repetition. The current crop of configuration management tools decouple the configuration from everything else even when it is somewhat detrimental to do so. One case where it is detrimental is in application configuration. I believe that application configuration should live in the same repository as the application itself instead of some other repository or a chef cookbook or a puppet module. Better yet the actual chef cookbook or puppet module should be alongside the application and the build system can figure out how to package the whole thing so that the deployment mechanism can be as simple as possible.
One problem with this set up is that it can lead to a lot of repetition because several packages are likely to use similar or even exactly the same chef cookbooks and puppet modules but instead of being in some central location these cookbooks and modules are now duplicated in each application repository. The instinctive thing to do in this case is to factor out the commonality and put it in its own repository but I think this is incorrect because it introduces non-locality. Now to understand how the application works across its entire lifecycle you have to chase down dependencies in some other place and sometimes it is not clear at all where this other place is because of the separation between operations and product development.
So what is the correct trade-off here? I think non-locality makes things more magical than they need to be and enforcing locality leads to unnecessary repetition.