On his blog, Premature Optimization, Shahar Evron has posted some information about work he's done on the Zend_Http_Client package of the Zend Framework - including the push to make it live.
Earlier this week, I finally (after long and hard work) pushed the Zend_Http_Client out of the incubator and into the core of Zend Framework, and it will be released with the 0.6 preview release.
Some of the things introduced in this package include the introduction of "connection adapters", a method of having an adapter object made responsible for handling the networking connection. The default for this is the socket adapter, but work is already being done to create cURL and future ideas for a caching adapter or a pfsockopen-based option for more preferment connection needs.
Shahar also includes some stats to show off what the new package can do and how many requests per second it can handle.