|Keep It Simple, Stupid|
This is a public reponse to Ovid's Give up your Modules! post to the Perl module author's list. Several encouraged me to follow up here as well.
I agree with Ovid is that there is a brewing problem with under-maintained modules on CPAN.
Here's my talk, which I walk: Consider yourself an owner of module you use, being considerate that others may feel the same way, especially the current maintainers.
Leave patches in RT. Follow-up on the other bug reports until you reach a resolution with the bug submitter. Ask other bug posters to submit their own patches. If you can't officially close the bug in RT, leave a note that says "I recommend this issue be resolved because..."
Go ahead and prepare a next proposed release with tests/docs/code and ChangeLog updates and tell the author they can simply sign-off on it. If they don't respond or agree, you can still release it yourself.
Remember, open source licenses give you equal rights to do these things.
I now help maintain Data::FormValidator, CGI::Session, CGI::Application, and WWW::Mechanize, none of which I wrote. In these cases, acting helpful and cooperative has been successful. The existing maintainers have been appreciative of my pro-active approach. Further, I have been successful in sharing the burden of maintainership by encouraging other users to make complete code/doc/test contributions themselves.
Yes, it may work best if some module authors give up some of their modules. By acting like a maintainer yourself, you become a logical choice to pass the responsibility on to. Step up.
(If you want a place to start, you could help with the 100 bug reports filed against WWW::Mechanize!)