Try this: in your /etc/apt/sources.list and then add
> deb http://peds-pc311.bsd.uchicago.edu binary/
> and do
>> sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get python-matplotlib-jdh
> These are hoary debs that I maintain for our local system.
> I'm certainly an amateur debian package maker, but they seem
> to work and usually track matplotlib CVS fairly closely.
Just a word of warning -- these are not updated to the 0.86 release,
mainly because I need to make a numpy deb as well. I'll try and get
these updated soon.