ajax, url, browser history

I got it into my head that pagination can use ajax calls so I can
update the relevant portion of the page without reloading the entire
thing

'.pagination a:click': function() {
  new Ajax.Request(this.href, { asynchronous:true, evalScripts:true,
method:'get'});
  return false;
}

a little change in my controller and voila. except I then realized
I'd just opened up a whole can of worms with ajax, url, browser
history. doing some research, I found the solutions are rather
complicated, browser dependent, and not completely satisfactory.
e.g.,

http://ajaxpatterns.org/Unique_URLs#Solution

does rails/rjs help us out here with some clever abstraction/library
methods for handling this? thanks