I've been using search.cpan.org for several years now. I've also been using GForge (as SourceForge and Rubyforge) for a couple of years now and I have decided something: GForge is better.
No, it has nothing to do with the navigation, and I'm certainly not in the "CPAN sucks" crowd. Besides, I know that search.cpan != CPAN.
First, there's RT (/me ducks rotten vegetables from jonasbn). I'm not saying it's a bad tool. I'm just saying I don't like it. The interface just feels clunky and I seem to have a hard navigating properly (anyone remember my earlier debacle?). With GForge, you get ye old familiar "Tracker", which comes with a handy set of predefined items (Bugs, Feature Requests, etc), and is easily configurable. I find it much easier to track bugs, and navigate through bug-related posts.
Second, there's forums and mailing lists. Rather than having folks send you individual emails, they can post to your custom mailing list, or the forums, which other people can then read and/or search on. I suppose I should ammend my earlier feelings on mailing lists at this point to say that I don't mind subscribing to mailing lists *IF* they are low-traffic.
Third, CVS, and everything that comes with a version control system.
Fourth, and this ties back into CVS, the ability to add other project members and delegate tasks. For simple modules this isn't much of a feature, but for some of the larger ones (DBI, Net::SSH::Perl, etc) this could be very helpful.
Fifth, the ability to group related modules under a single project. This is more of a "warm & fuzzy" kind of argument, I know. This partially ties back into task delegation. You could have a series of XML related modules, with different authors, all under the same project. Or perhaps a few different modules grouped together that are related by a dependency of some sort.
Sixth, the ability to monitor releases. I like to know via email when a package of interest has been updated. More than once I've missed a release on CPAN because I wasn't paying attention.
Seventh, I get my own project home page. There are plans in the works to add project wiki's on Rubyforge, so I think it's customizable.
Ok, now let's talk about the drawbacks. The first "problem" is that GForge is written in PHP. I mention this because I suspect there's a lot of pride in the Perl community. The sort of pride that might insist that any Perl related repository be written in Perl. Maybe I'm wrong. The Ruby community, wisely I think, decided that reinventing the wheel just to give themselves a warm, fuzzy feeling was a bad idea and decided to use a good tool was already available.
The second problem I see is the lack of a command line interface. Someone would have to write a new interface for the now-mythical www.perlforge.org. It's do-able, though.
The third problem is...people are *used* to search.cpan.org and it might take some time to get folks to switch to something like a PerlForge.
Maybe there are some other problems I haven't thought of. I'm sure you will let me know.
I mostly mentioned it to see how other people here feel about a possible PerlForge.
That is all.
Update: I accidentally said Python instead of PHP originally. Fixed.