in reply to RFC: How Tightly Coupled To Perl Must We Be?
On Linux, a good place to start with modules is to look at what's available directly from your distro.
That way you can ignore cpan and just install them using your package manager and it will handle all the dependency issues. There's usually lots of modules just ready to install, and it's a indication that those modules are likely to work and be useful. When I'm looking for a new module I always start by checking the distro first. I'm not sure what's out there for windows though (maybe some else will comment?).