On the Solar framework blog today there's a quick new post about a change they've made to their distribution method:
I just switched the solarphp.com PEAR server over from the old Chiara_PEAR_ServerPirum, then plan and execute the conversion and server update. The presentation is not as slick as I'd like, but it's dead-stupid simple to set up, and I can tweak the CSS etc. later.
Pirum is a simpler alternative for a PEAR channel server manager that aims to make it simpler than some of the more complex options offered in the past. You can install Pirum from its PEAR server.