Perhaps the Getting Started guide wasn't as good when you tried before as it is now?

I've used the installer before and it works very nicely. However, to borrow a phrase, I did feel like I was being given a fish. Soon enough I wanted to use Boost.Python and Boost.MPI, which are not built by default, and I wished I'd been taught how to fish instead. The Getting Started page is pretty good at that these days.

Just my 2c,
I second that. Besides, once you managed to build boost, you can upgrade anytime without waiting for the installer, and more important - you can fine-tune your build. Eg., you can compile release with various optimizations, with or without "secured stl" or /GL switch (msvc) etc. ...