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Yes. I have tried PC-BSD. Its good but I did not take a shine to it (persoanlly like Gnome). I would rather install FreeBSD/Gnome then.
And Yes. FreeBSD does not have a packemanagement tool like the Debian and Fedoras. Try upgrading an already installed package and see the depndency hell it creates for other packages. I do stick with packages on the server side where I need more stability and do compile the freeBSd kernel for some of the things I need for it.
There are many package management tools for FreeBSD that are the equivalent of yum and apt. Portupgrade and portmaster are two for the command line, and the DesktopBSD tools and barry for the GUI.
There are more tools here: http://www.freshports.org/ports-mgmt/
I've upgraded many a preinstalled package on my DesktopBSD computer, and I wouldn't characterize the experience as dependency hell. What exactly was the issue you were seeing?