FYI, Zend are now hosting a PEAR Weekly Summary column, much like the PHP Weekly Summary. More handy packages on their way, as well, such as Text_Diff for comparing text files and many more.
Particulary noteworthy is Alan Knowles proposal (now accepted) describing the process by which new packages become part of PEAR. If you’re considering contributing you need to be aware of this. Overall think it’s a good sign that the PEAR group is willing exert some control over what joins the repository, the result being, hopefully, quality over quantity. There was an interesting article here discussing CPAN and the problems faced with managing (giant) Open Source code libraries.