It sounds like you are discouraging DIY tasks. It truly is nice to be able to buy items off the shelf that are all set to go, but if I find a $30 light bulb that someone can throw together for $5 with blueprints that are readily accessible, I will go that route. This page contains loads of reliable information concerning monocrystalline solar cells. I believe many people here have the skills to solder together, or in some cases, just connect, some sort of practical replacement that is much the same. I’ve seen LED units on ebay as well as other sources that already have 12VDC drivers that are paired. I tend to buy them as individual components which have to be made, however, if I can improve on their technical specs and make good savings, I’ll give it a go. This site features lots of straight answers on installing solar panels on your home.
As for our shortage of engineering knowledge, we don’t need to redesign the wheel. That is what discussion boards like this are for, to share sources on where to find those blueprints, or for people that have those talents to generously assist us to alter our designs (hint hint). http://cheapsolarpanels.us/homemade-power-plant-review.html features a lot of straight answers concerning exactly what are the most efficient solar panels.
So easy my grandmother is able to do it, (that could be pushing it). Regardless it is a very simple task, finding the components and fitting the parts together! Here are my favorite small drivers to use, cheap, reliable and easily mod-able. I use a 3000MA driver from a flashlight to drive mine but that needs a mondo heatsink (think book size) to maintain it at a safe level.