in reply to Installing CPAN without root access
the solution depends heavily on the question whether you want to stick to the system's perl installation or if you want a current Perl version too.
If you say: Hey, I start by own directory tree for modules why should I not also install a perl for my own, than have a look at http://perlbrew.pl/. (App::perlbrew)
If you say: No, please, I just want some modules on my own, than have a look at local::lib and for nice installation to App::cpanminus.
UPDATE: I forgot something. The local::lib thing is meanwhile integrated into the App::perlbrew. So you can think of the App::perlbrew way as a kind of superset.