OK, so the answer to the first one is that CPANPLUS assumes a policy of "reload after one day" instead of CPAN.pm's "reload after a user-specifiable period of time". That makes sense, but wasn't documented yet.
As for the second, no. I'm talking about the CPAN
mirror setting, like getting the CPAN from http://www.cpan.org/ when I'm online, or getting it from my file:///Users/merlyn/CPAN/ when I'm offline. In CPAN.pm, that's a simple "o conf urllist unshift BLAH". But there appears to be only a very truncated list of settings in CPANPLUS (so far?),
and "current CPAN" is not one of them.
It has nothing to do with FTP proxy settings.
-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker