Last month, it was announced that Drupal will have an installer included in the next major release of Drupal. The installer will not only automate the creation of the required Drupal database tables for you, but should also allow for the creation of "install profiles".
However, this patch is more than just usability: it supports "install profiles" so that anyone can create a distribution out of Drupal core, contributed modules, and themes. This will begin a new era in Drupal's life. Without a doubt, there will be a Drupal for blogger distribution, and a forum distribution is already in the works. Also, new installations of Drupal will only contain database tables for the modules you've actually enabled.
While the announcement of this installer was last month, I really have not had much time to actually check how the installer will actually work. While I would expect the installer to work as easily as installers in other content management systems, I've learned over the years to not count my chickens before they hatch. Today, someone has posted a very good article on what Drupal users can expect in the next major update of their application.
The folks at 2bits have written an excellent article detailing what the user will see and do while working with the installer. The article is titled, Drupal 4.8/5.0 now has an installer and I encourage anyone who has interest in this new Drupal feature to visit their site.
By the way, it looks like the next full release of Drupal will be either 4.8 or 5.0. According to 2bits and other posts I've read from the Drupal developers the 4.8 or 5.0 will depend on what features gets included in the developing code by September 1.