Peel and halve the pears; remove seed pockets and stems.
In a wide shallow pan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, and vanilla; bring to a boil.
Drop the pears into boiling liquid, and poach 5 to 8 minutes or until pears are just slightly tender when pierced.
Drain pears; discard syrup.
Sprinkle cut sides of pears lightly with salt; place cut side down in a 9-inch baking pan.
Just before serving, melt the butter or margarine and pour over pears; place under broiler, about 5 inches from heat, and broil 1 to 2 minutes.
Turn cut sides up, and place 1 teaspoon almonds into the hollowed portion of each pear half.
Spoon the caramel topping over pears.
Return to broiler for 1 minute.