I believe (based on some confusing time with the build toolchain) that
- If ARROW_HOME is set, attempting to build_ext with PYARROW_BUNDLE_ARROW_CPP will fail because FindArrow.cmake will not set ARROW_ABI_VERSION.
- PKG_CONFIG_PATH must be set correctly for a bundled build to work.
- --bundle-arrow-cpp may not do anything (vs PYARROW_BUNDLE_ARROW_CPP), but is referenced in build scripts.
I'd be happy to submit a PR which checks for some of these conditions in setup.py and bails with a helpful message, and/or update development.rst to include a wheel-building block.