FYI, here is a tidbit on signal handlers, from the 5.8.0 perldelta
Perl used to be fragile in that signals arriving at inopportune moments could corrupt Perl's internal state. Now Perl postpones handling of signals until it's safe (between opcodes).
This change may have surprising side effects because signals no longer interrupt Perl instantly. Perl will now first finish whatever it was doing, like finishing an internal operation (like sort()) or an external operation (like an I/O operation), and only then look at any arrived signals (and before starting the next operation). No more corrupt internal state since the current operation is always finished first, but the signal may take more time to get heard. Note that breaking out from potentially blocking operations should still work, though.