Seems like what I really should have done is look in the /eg dir of the distribution, as the docu suggests somewhere that eluded my first scan. This has
in reply to Re: Is Net::SSH::Perl broken for login via explicit user/password?
in thread Is Net::SSH::Perl broken for login via explicit user/password?
which seems to accomplish what I want without interactive => 1 in the constructor. (But I haven't actually tried if it works yet ;) )
UPDATE: Well, I tried it and YOU ARE RIGHT.
You need interactive => 1
The sample script they give there is busted. I guess it is time to fire up rt :)