What version of AS perl and ppm are you running? When I do a search
in PPM, I get the ppds in my repository. Maybe mine's a fluke tho, as I have had the same AS distribution on multiple machines and received varying results. Eh, ~sigh~, YMMV! :-)
I do like the idea of PPM and the flexibility/raw power of CPAN. I wish the two could come together. i.e. CPAN checking to see if there's a ppd for a module; installing that versus making/compiling the source; building dependencies ( which PPM does not do ); etc.
Maybe someday ...
Apply yourself to new problems without preparation, develop confidence in your ability to to meet situations as they arrise.