From: darren kirby [mailto:bulliver / badcomputer.org] :
# begin
#   require 'rubygems'
# rescue LoadError
# end
# 
# so that it may work for both. I plain and simple don't understand why 
# the  "require 'rubygems'" is required (pardon the pun), to 
# make gem installed libs visable to Ruby.

short answer: love. either you love gem or you don't.

there was another brilliant and apt-like ruby packaging system (rpa) started by mauricio et al years back, but it was abandon for lack of support from the masses; (i think) mainly because a lot of those packages then did not pass rpa standards or may rubyhackers then hated standards --just my opinionated opinion :)

seriously though, these package-related issues have been discussed for years, pls see the archives.