perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=~
This installs module stuff in ~/lib/ and binaries that ship with a module into ~/bin/, things like that. You can also use LIB=~/lib if you're just concerned about getting the module itself in the right place (which is usually sufficient for simple modules).
See ExtUtils::MakeMaker for more interesting tidbits about the Makefile.PL that ships with standard module installations.
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