I agree with morris and would like to add a "rule 0": try and use modules that are already packaged in your distro.
I myself use Debian stable and in more than 4 years I needed only twice a module not deb-packaged. CPAN has an incredible number of modules, often redundant or overlapping and, if you search only in the modules supported by your distro, chances are high that you'll find something apt.
Rule One: Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man.
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