Thanks Demian and Eoghan, for your help with my Ubuntu install!
I have figured out the root problem with Pear file on my system, simply put:
all of the various PHP scripts that are run during the vufind.sh launch script are looking for Pear packages here:
while all of my Pear packages are located down one level:
This condition I believe was caused by my need to reinstall/refresh the Pear system an additional time, with proxy awareness, in order for the vufind install script to load packages through our http proxy server...
In short, I now have to either copy all packages up 1 level -- and/or try to include the path to /usr/share/php/PEAR somehow...
!!! Editing the php.ini files under /etc/php5/ and a reboot seems to have worked, so I can stop trying different ham-handed methods to get those package files made available.
I now have the vufind start html page visible!
MIT Lincoln Laboratory