I agree. Correct autoboxing is the correct solution, not throwing arbitrary symbol characters at it. I know that there is no support anywhere in the mechanics of perl to have correct autoboxing. However, this current solution is the wrong solution and will not help promote perl, and likely will help detractors continue to detract. Features should be evolving in the direction of Perl 6 where possible, not wander tangentially in odd directions.
I know this was discussed extensively by rjbs on the list. I think in this case this was promoted because of too much echo on p5p.
my @a=qw(random brilliant braindead); print $a[rand(@a)];