I just wanted to mention that I had a lot of trouble installing Matplotlib on my Windows system. When you know what to do, it's easy. The main problem was that I didn't find the "Windows Users" section on <http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/backends.html> for a while. This information belongs on the <http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/installing.html> page.
Also, the advice it gives states that the GTK 2.2.4 Runtime has a "friendly windows installer". This was extremely difficult to find and given the provided link, I had assumed that there was no such installer and tried to install GTK+ manually. Eventually I found the installer here:
so the current link to <http://www.pcpm.ucl.ac.be/~gustin/win32_ports/> should be changed.
I'd change the wording to a simple step-by-step guide such as:
Install the latest GTK runtime from <http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/gtk-win/> (currently 22.214.171.124)
Add the bin and lib subdirs to the PATH
Add GDFONTPATH environment variable
Hope this helps,