Don't bother with make, try to get the installer working. Tarballs won't be provided outside the installer framework in the future anyway (which doesn't make much sense to me, but I don't decide this kind of stuff, so oh well), so it's worthless if you can only get them to work.
The installer looks for your kernel headers in /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build/include, then (if they're not in that directory) in /usr/src/linux/include. Make sure that /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build is a symlink to the base of your kernel source tree, or make sure that /usr/src/linux is a symlink to the base of the source tree. I believe that Debian's "kernel-headers" package is just kernel-source for any other distro, and I'm pretty sure it installs in /usr/src/linux-<version>/include.