There is already an automated tool which can convert an already-downloaded npm package into an Atmosphere package.
I like this approach because it focuses on what Meteor is and is not: Meteor is not completely separate from the node environment; Meteor is easier when you can use Atmosphere.
Without inherently changing the structure of Meteor (and avoiding dependency help a la “require();” , it would seem the most logical solution is two-step:
1) An npm package which adds the option for a command line argument when adding an npm module to tell the package that you’re installing for Meteor.
Exa. $ npm install -meteor bootstrap
2) The use of this argument to invoke the repackaging of said module for a Meteor-friendly install.
I’ve used a number of npm modules with Meteor that are not officially supported via an Atmosphere package, and I’ve done so a number of ways.
I’ve also repackaged an npm module as an Atmosphere module and used it in my app.
Simply automating this process, while putting the burden on the installation seems a decent compromise.