The entire purpose of PackageKit is to abstract out all the uninteresting packaging formats and tools into a coherent API that can be used by cool applications and tools in a cross distribution and architecture way.
Of course, this is limited by the distribution guys putting in the effort writing PackageKit backends for their system, packaging it up into packages, and then deploying it in new distributions to hapless users.
So far, we have quite a few distributions shipping PackageKit by default, and there’s every indication that a large majority will be shipping PK by the end of the year. Recently I’ve been very impressed with the work of Sebastian Heinlein integrating PK with APT. It’s been pretty difficult, as he’s been patching (rewriting?) chunks of python-apt so that the PackageKit API can be completed. For SMART, Anders F Bjorklund has also been writing huge chunks of code, which is also great.
Screenshot of some of the tools on Ubuntu (Copyright Sebastian Heinlein)
You can see how the other distributions are doing here.