It's also worth mentioning that some distributions (like Gentoo) use Perl as the core-language of their maintenance system. To help protect that system, they ship slightly-unconventional defaults for fundamental things like the order of the @INC list.
You might therefore find yourself in a situation that is directly analogous to "installing Perl stuff on a shared-hosting system where you are not allowed to supersede the system defaults but must instead make a 'per-user' type of installation." Perl does support this, through facilities like PERL5LIB, PREFIX, and various CPAN configuration-settings. In fact, it does it quite well. But, it's not entirely obvious.
What those vendors are intentionally trying to ensure is, in fact, what you can thereby achieve, namely: you can set up your Perl any way that you like, without being able to inadvertantly "torch" the Perl configuration upon which the distro's maintenance-software depends.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 02-01-2008 at 10:15 PM.