FWIW, it sounds like you're wondering why Module::Build didn't work for a pure perl module. If so, I misunderstood in my earlier post -- sorry, I'm kind of dense sometimes.
Module::Build may well have worked fine for installing pure perl modules, I didn't bother to find out once its own 'make test' failed though. My policy with Module::Build, and any non-core CPAN module I want to install, is: If there is no "make test" provided, or I can't run "make test" to completion and can't easily figure out how to fix it or live with it, I don't use the module since there are probably other
things lurking. Yeah, I'm paranoid, so YMMV.