You have obviously not used SVN's merging tools. While very nice when they work, they often don't work, requiring a lot of hand-merging.
The wonderful SVK can help a lot there.
Frankly, it's much better just to use the CPAN shell to install the version you want to install. Most of the time, installing the latest and greatest will be good enough.
I prefer having my dependencies under source control outside of CPAN. Makes integrating them with the rest of my build much easier, and helps those occasions that aren't "most of the time" become less painful.