Since I got a Mac over a year ago, CPAN has steadfastly refused to really work. It would hang on
Fetching with LWP: ftp://carroll.cac.psu.edu/pub/CPAN/authors/01mailrc.txt.gz
and then timeout after a while and do the same thing with
Net::FTP and eventually it would try to use some method that works (which is how I managed to get LWP installed - by letting CPAN run overnight) and it would do this for every file it needed to get. Re-running config did nothing to help.
Every once in a while I'd google all over the place trying to figure out the problem, and it was always no dice. And people I'd talk to with my same setup uniformly told me they had no problems, or that CPAN sucks and they just download the modules over http and roll them themselves.
Well finally for the umpteenth time there's something I need from CPAN, and it's not working for the umpteenth time, and I'm googling about for the umpteeenth time, and I come across a page that notes that
Net::FTP uses active FTP by default and that setting
is what you need to do if you don't want your firewall screwing things up, and darned if i didn't throw that in my .bashrc and LWP downloads that damn mailrc in about a second, and suddenly I HAVE CPAN on my frikking powerbook!