Well there is a lot of back and forth about if PEAR should mandate PEAR_Error or PEAR_Exceptions or neither for new packages. This also relates to the question of PHP5 E_STRICT compliance which PEAR_Error obviously is not.
I just quickly wrote up 2 proxy classes that could make it easy to switch a given package between these two error handling mechanisms. Just food for thought.
Maybe the P in PEAR should be Patchy
Maybe it stands for Politics? :)