Dumbest question of the year!
OK. This was a really good post and a wonderful learning moment for me. But here is the practical thing: If both CWM and TWRP both allow me to backup AND RESTORE, then why the heck do I even need to worry about all this mumbo-jumbo to make a flashable zip when I can just hit the RESTORE button?
I can't even find a single custom ROM for my annoying Alcatel OT-7040D phone with the weird custpack partition, so forget "collecting" the META-INF folder. Nobody is developing anything for this anomaly of a phone. Except for MTK Droid Tools and SP Flash, I would would be all alone in this world. LOL