I honestly can't remember. I've learned (or semi-learned) a lot of languages just for the fun of learning them. I started when 5.6.0 was out, and 5.6.1 nearly there, I think, so I guess that was about 2000 (correct me someone if I'm wrong).
in reply to Why I learn a language.
My first (and only) Perl book was the Camel (3rd ed.) from which I proceeded to read as much as I needed to get started. I write mostly perl programs for myself (that have nothing whatsoever to do with CGI or the Web, tho usually something to do with internet).
I went from VB (gave up that when a reinstall of VB deleted my projects I was working on..), to Java (which I still like, but is a bit unwieldy for short-and-simple stuff) to Perl, where I'm still at. It was a conscious decision, I just can't remember who suggested it, or why.
I'm using it at work now too, so I guess it's helped make me valuable there.. ;)
Do I attempt to..?
Since it's mostly in my own time, and written for my own use, I try to make it work in the first instance, and worry about efficience later (if at all neccessary). I'm not interested in elegance or correctness at all (if it works, its correct :) - Though I do indent and consistently bracket etc, I've no idea how anyone can code (and read it later) without doing that :)