if you flame me on this one be prepared for me to respond with numerous examples where perl says one thing and the truth is completely different. :-)
That sounds like it would be an interesting thread in its own right - why don't you post some examples. Most programming languages are guilty of providing misleading error messages at times, but in my experience Perl messages are some of the more helpful ones. Then again, compared to "An unexpected error has occurred", "segfault" or "Unknown error" pretty much any clue is appreciated.