matplotlib redhat 7.3 / as3.0


first time user, first time installer...

Is there a howto for matplotlib installation on redhat 7.3/as2.1 & as3.0?

I'm trying to install matplotlib on these platforms and am running into a seemingly endless list of dependancies for python2.2, numarray:

just on the 7.3 side,
  - freetype >= 2.1.7 is needed, but rh has 2.0.9-2.
  - pygtk >= 1.99.16 needed, rh has 1.99.8-7.
  - pygtk 2.2.0 needs glib >= 2.2.0, redhat has 1.2.10-5,
  - pygtk 1.99.16 compiles, but I get error "ImportError: /usr/lib/ undefinded symbol: FT_Seek_Stream", which I haven't tracked down just yet...
  - the line "inf = infty = Infinity = _ieee.inf" in fails to find 'inf' in '_ieee', but commenting it out works fine.
  - While the install webpage says I only need freetype,libpng,zlib to compile, I get runtime complaints on import of matplotlib.matlab * (running about missing image libraries if I don't turn the BUILD_IMAGE flag on.

This is all way too difficult me as I'm not looking forward to upgrading so many packages across our production I missing something obvious? Perhaps an older version of matplotlib known to work on this redhat? I'm just using it for simple time-series plots, real-time and to some file (png, gif, ps, pdf...).

thanks in advance for any help,