so, I'm running Ubuntu 12.04,
and this seems to have worked for me.. while not directly from the repo, but does play nice without complexity of 'virtualenvironment' stuffs..
"Getting matplotlib running with python3"
sudo apt-get build-dep python-matplotlib
sudo apt-get install python3-dev
cd matplotlib-matplotlib-bb3ea55 <=== the directory name will vary with version
sudo python3 setup.py build
sudo python3 setup.py install
sudo apt-get install python3-pyqt4
thanks to 'Mike', as copied here from: https://gist.github.com/mlongval/4950532