in reply to Help me fill a gap in my server-side knowledge?
Give any of them a try -- Catalyst or Dancer or Mojolicious -- you'll never want to go back to straight CGI.
I run mine off a VPS setup. If the service crashes, you restart it.
These MVC systems are better because you write less repetitive code, it puts the fun back into the world. Lets you get really basic stuff linked to a database running in no time, and more complex stuff running in a little bit more time after that.
Start with the Catalyst::Manual::Tutorial. It'll get you going.
And btw I've found Catalyst install to be no difficulty on any system with a recent perl. If all you have is something like a RHEL system, use perlbrew. Problem solved.