I wanted to write because I had trouble installing wordpress for a site hosted by pair.com . Since pair.com is such a popular hosting company, I wanted to offer my solution for anyone who is hosting with pair.com and is also running into trouble.
The short answer is: do not use the "5-minute installation" instructions that wordpress offers. Instead, scrupulously follow the instructions offered at http://www.pair.com/support/knowledge_base/authoring_development/tools_of_the_trade_wordpress.html .
When I tried, repeatedly, to install my site with the "5-minute installation," all appeared to work until I first logged in using the auto-generated admin login and password. At that point, I would either get a message that I did not have sufficient permissions for the site, OR I would get what appeared to be the dashboard, but lacking any menu items to manage the site. Therefore the site was basically useless to me and I had to start over.
So, I erased everything (database and wordpress files) that I'd installed via the 5-minute installation instructions. Then I followed the directions at the URL I listed above, and that did the trick. You do need telnet access and some comfort with command-line server access, but the directions are clear and easy to follow once you've got that. Write down every username and password that you get when you set up the database using pair.com's control panel, as you will need the first one (the full access one) for editing your wp-config.php file.
People who are shopping for web hosters should also note that the minimum-level hosting account needed at pair.com is "Advanced," which costs $17.95 per month. There are much cheaper deals out there. That being said, I have found pair to be stable and reliable and responsive over several years during which I've had several clients hosting sites with them, something I cannot say of their cheaper more wordpress-installation-friendly competitor dreamhost.com , for instance.
Best luck to others in my situation!