scons is a replacement for make, but make is really not a problem waiting to be solved. the problem is the autotools which are good and old. the fault of autotools is it is oh so very hard to learn and at the end you can port your programs to what? aix? hp-ux? and a zillion i-can't-name-it dinosaurs. what i really care is native windows and a couple of linux and maybe solaris and mac os x. all i want is build with their native build tools instead of gnu-pull-me-all-out.
so scons is python, if we say make is shell programming. with python, yeah itself is a portable programming environment, you can do some portability things, at least by hand, for now. and scons will grow, i have confidence in this project. in the near future, i believe you won't have to do that much work by hand at all. it's just a matter to accumulate some more snippets of good scripts.
that being said, to do a similar tool in scheme or lisp or whatever one of those less popular programming languages is not that much meaningful. because the concern here is about portability. if the programming language itself is not a portable and versatile programming environment. then cowsay: mooo... ;)