If you want need a 64-bit version of this module for Google App Engine, or another project, you can run into a couple of issues. Sticking to 32-bit versions of Python and PIL avoids these issues so that may be the best direction for newbies.
The downloads on the PIL site are for 32-bit versions of Python which means that you hit runtime issues as soon as the Python script files attempt to load the 32-bit libraries into 64-bit Python. Annoyingly the installer is unaware of the architecture for the Python installation it finds and will leave you with a broken PIL install. Just uninstall it from Control Panel. My first thought was to try an build from the sources but I figured someone has run into this problem.
After some searching I found a site which offers pre-built versions of many Python modules for 64-bit architectures including PIL. If you are in any way concerned about performance, or security a better solution might be to build from source or use versions from a company offering supported versions.
I downloaded the version for Python 2.5 and then discovered that it would not install. What is interesting is that the 32-bit installer was able to find my 64-bit Python, but the 64-bit installer was unable to find it.
After some more searching it turns out that the installer takes it’s cue from a key in the registry and the Registry virtualization in Windows x64 was confusing it. To resolve the issue I had to export the “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\2.5” key, remove the “Wow6432Node\” string using a text editor, and re-import the key so that it was at “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Python\PythonCore\2.5”.
After doing this the 64-bit installer for PIL detected my Python installation and I was up and running.