You can make good cider with pears for sure. It's known as peary in the UK. I have never made it but I know it's a big deal in the UK. I've tasted homemade pear brandy from Germany and that's awesome as well... But making that is a whole other ball game. Also some folks make cider from cherries, but they are less forgiving than apples or pears.
You would do yourself a favor and steer away from Mr Beer kits. You can find one gallon kits for making beer and wine from places like Northern Brewer online. Some of the one gallon kits out there are exceptional and they just added a line of one gallon premium wine kits.
Cider can be challenging to get right, but if you follow a basic recipe you can get something decent even from store bought juice. The hardest part in making cider is getting the acidity of the juice adjusted right. I've been making hard cider for quite sometime and still struggle with this, even testing acidity. Either way, the cider I make still turns out very good. If you are looking for a sweet cider, it can be a bit trickier to get right. We prefer a traditional dry English style cider, which is a bit more forgiving.
Anyhow, if you have any questions about making your own cider, post them here and I'll try and answer them for you. I ran/owned a homebrew shop for about 2 years and use to brew about 3 times per week. :-)