Sakai tricky to install from normal Linux distribution

We have a student working for us on comparisons between various LMSes here, and we recently moved on to Sakai. We've been looking a bit at installing it on an Ubuntu 9.04 and boy... is this a challenge. While there seems to be a few sources of documentation around the web (including on the Sakai website itself) on how to install it, they're all giving a 20 pages-long guide on how to install a specific version of Java (from sources), a specific version of Tomcat (from sources) and a specific version of Sakai (from sources as well).