Turns out that busybox awk fails in an interesting way which (eventually) causes half the symbols to be missing in the stage 1 libgcc.so object. Switched to using gawk and managed a successful build.
Seems to be a relatively good time for solutions, last week I managed to make squashfs-tools work on ARM. Unfortunately the author seems to be completely unresponsive to my (repeated) emails (if anyone wants the patch series feel free to mail me). The main issue with the tools is their complete blind assumption that a c structure can simply be cast to an arbitrary character array and get sensible results.
The structure casting method simply does not work on ARM (or indeed any platform which has alignment restrictions) without at least adhering to some minimal rules, primary among these is that the structure *must* be aligned to a word (32bit) boundary and that if you have 16bit or 8bit quantities within the structure they may cause gaps between members i.e. the structures are not packed by default.
No this behaviour is not a bug, it is perfectly acceptable by the c standard. Just because on x86 the practice of arbitrary casting works does not mean it is safe or sensible. Nonetheless many programmers simply do not want to believe its wrong.
Anyhow, rant over, back to work!