I, personally, have wasted too much time on more than one project in pursuit of beauty. Over optimizing for purity is as bad as pre-optimizing for speed.
in reply to Re: Why I learn a language.
in thread Why I learn a language.
OMG. I just realized that I sometimes do the same thing.
Anyway... I choose perl because it is mature, has lots of modules to do what I need (Thanks to CPAN) and is just simply easy to use. When I started, PHP and Python both were missing important features. (Python was missing something like pop - it had push but not pop, or something like that. I'm sure that's fixed by now)
On the other side of the spectrum, C and C++ just requires way too much work to get simple things done. And I haven't had to program anything that truly required the speed benefit of C.
It basically comes down to using the right tool for the job... and for my job as an ISP sysadmin, perl is almost always the right tool.