With a meta-grain of salt, I'd have to say that I agree with BrowserUk's general idea of a standard, non-hostile, non-emotionally charged protocol for continuing the evolution of a CPAN module when its original author has expressedly or de facto suspended the support for it.
I also agree with Perl Mouse when he says that "CPAN is just a repository. The great thing is that anyone can contribute any code to it.". Precisely, IMHO, it should be possible to contribute any code to solve any given problem, not just problems where no author before has planted its flag.
In this sense, I feel that thought could be given to a natural and agile way (built into the structure of CPAN) of branching or evolving a given module, a way that automatically took care of authorship, copyright and and other important formalities. That is, so that every bit of work by any author (no matter the level of it's original author's involvement after it is released) would be completely shared with the other authors and users.
Of course, this solution might not be simple (I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be (if it is possible, in the first place)), but that is precisely why I think it should be addressed in a formal and standarized (and agreed upon) way.
Then again, one might be told to "go make your own repository if you don't like CPAN as it is". That'd be unkind response, but a valid one.