I don't think Perl is any better or worse than many
other languages to learn.
I think it is. Perl is a powerful, but dangerous language. We don't
learn people how to drive in a Ferrari, people don't learn to fly
in an F-16 jet, nor do people learn to read using Shakespeare plays. Why
should computer languages be any different? Other languages are, IMO,
much more suited to learn programming in. To name a few, Pascal, Python,
Java, Haskell. Probably Eiffel as well.
I also think that Perl isn't a suitable language for everyone. In fact,
I believe that more than 75% of the people currently using Perl should
be using a different language (or maybe not even program at all). The
influx of bad programmers due to the popularity of the web certainly
plays a role here.