For clarity, http://cpan.org is up, http://search.cpan.org is having problems, again. I raised the issue a few times and suggested that http://noc.perl.org/ be updated with a section for reporting issues, this is now live.
CPAN isn't the main perl website. That's http://www.perl.org, not is it the place to search for perl documentaiton, that's http://perldoc.perl.org. Your idea for updating the error pages seems reasonable, I suggest you raise it.
I've never had this issue with http://metacpan.org, http://mcpan.org is (I'm informed) a drop in replacement for the search syntax of http://search.cpan.org.
Update: sort of related - Proposal - Update shortcuts pointing to cpan.org to link to mcpan.org.
Are you posting in the right place? Check out Where do I post X? to know for sure.
Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags. Currently these include the following:
<code> <a> <b> <big>
<blockquote> <br /> <dd>
<dl> <dt> <em> <font>
<h1> <h2> <h3> <h4>
<h5> <h6> <hr /> <i>
<li> <nbsp> <ol> <p>
<small> <strike> <strong>
<sub> <sup> <table>
<td> <th> <tr> <tt>
Snippets of code should be wrapped in
<code> tags not
<pre> tags. In fact, <pre>
tags should generally be avoided. If they must
be used, extreme care should be
taken to ensure that their contents do not
have long lines (<70 chars), in order to prevent
horizontal scrolling (and possible janitor
Want more info? How to link
or How to display code and escape characters
are good places to start.