brent someone please tell me what the essence of Solaris is
Solaris is a Unix variant with strong multi-processor and multi-platform support within the SPARC and x86 architectures. Solaris is not Linux and uses Unix code. Solaris is intended to be deployed within a networked environment. Solaris is not particularly useful as an independent personal operating system and available components (apps) are weighted toward network and communications.
It you want to take a look, you might consider installing it in a VM. I assume that a VB install would be the least likely to create issues, since both VB and Solaris are Oracle products.
I think that you'll find Solaris disappointing as a personal desktop environment, so if you install and evaluate Solaris, keep its intended purpose in mind and don't get lost in comparisons to Linux distros.
Oracle's "how-to" resource site might be helpful if you go ahead with Solaris.