IMHO changing the required version so short before NetBSD 5.1 will be released, which uses an older version, is not a good idea. It's only required in the case of doing a make replace and having DESTDIR enabled. That won't trigger for normal users since USE_DESTDIR is not the default. Also, we already decoupled base pkg tools from what pkgsrc needs. I think people have argued that we shoudn't even have package tools in base (I'm not arguing that, but it's a sane argument). FWIW, I did "make replace package clean" in pkgtools/pkg_install, and it updated painlessly.
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