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1. Go to http://www.sun.com and download Solaris 8 CD images, and burn them to CDs. I believe you just need the first 3 CD images. Make sure you get the Solaris for Intel, not Sparc.
2. Go to http://docs.sun.com and follow the Solaris 8 link. There are a lot of document collections but you'll probably need to read these:
1) Solaris 8 Installation Collection
a) Solaris 8 (Intel Platform Edition) Installation Guide
b) Solaris 8 Advanced Installation Guide (read this later on)
2) Solaris 8 System Administrator Collection
a) System Administration Guide, Volume 1
b) System Administration Guide, Volume 2
c) System Administration Guide, Volume 3
d)Solaris Naming Setup and Configuration Guide (just the NIS and DNS section is enough I believe)
e)Solaris Naming Administration Guide (same as above)
3) Solaris 8 User Collection (just the CDE is enough I believe)
3. While you are reading the above, try to install it, configure it according to the document. Mind you, it will be a long and boring process. But if you manage to finish, you'll have a very good grasp on Solaris.
4. After all the above, you might want to go to http://www.sunfreeware.com to install a lot of precompiled software packages. Some of the packages are quite out of date (like apache), some of them are quite up to date (eg. samba). For those out of date packages, you might want to create your own packages (refer to the instructions on that site).
After all the above, you might want to try out Linux/*BSD and you will find out it'll be much easier.
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