I realize the title wasnít the overriding meaning of the post butĖ
Would you stay with Perl if there were no CPAN?
I programmed in Perl for about two years before I was even aware the CPAN existed. Perlís sweet-spot-finding ability to conform to the hackerís thought process + its ubiquity on *nix is what won me and would keep unless there were something very similar. I adore Perl. Though I use the CPAN all day, every day, that doesnít really enter into it. Larry doesnít get enough credit for his design. I can hack Java and PHP et cetera but itís a joyless chore; without Perl I would be in a completely different line of work.
Also metacpan really does a good job of tying together a lot of stuff and continues to improve.