Although I may be giving you the impression that pcl-cvs is barely maintained and a risky investment, the instability appears to be temporary. Stefan Monnier is a responsive maintainer (I contacted him several times during the writing of this chapter, and he always answered right away; he is already making headway on some of the bugs in Version 2.9.6). Very likely by the time this is published, you will be able to download Version 2.9.7 or later with confidence.
In fact, I just now got an encouraging email on this topic from Greg Woods, a former maintainer of pcl-cvs, reprinted here with his permission:
From: email@example.com (Greg A. Woods) Subject: Re: pcl-cvs maintenance status, stability of recent "release"s? To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 18:59:19 -0400 (EDT) [...] I've been using Stefan's releases for some time now, and indeed I have abandoned my own branch of it. He's done a lot of really good work on PCL-CVS and except for a few odd quirks in the 2.9.6 version I'm using daily now it is quite usable (and is approximately infinitely more usable with modern CVS than the one that was in the CVS distribution! ;-). I've added a pcl-cvs.README file to my FTP site to point out that the files there are indeed quite old (at least in Internet time! ;-) and to give a pointer to Stefan's FTP site too. [...]
In a later email, Greg said that the FSF is considering including pcl-cvs in their next release of Emacs (20.5), which would render most of the preceding installation advice obsolete. Sigh. It's hard to keep up with free software, sometimes.