I totally agree with you that it needs a single sign on (maybe CPAN could provide an OpenId account?) - but I don't think that requires centralisation.
And talking about the scaling problems. What I had in mind was not problems on the infrastructure layer - the technology should work OK with even much bigger repository - but rather things like: the dependency problems, difficulty of finding the right module and duplication of modules making it confusing for newcomers and aggravating the other issues.
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