Hmmm, Perl as a first language. Well, I think the most
important thing is a good teacher. A good teacher can
break a complex learning experience into meaningful parts.
Take a look at
The Little Schemer
not an easy
language to learn (well, at least for us simpletons).
But the book has a great way to condition the mind, makes
recursion seem, well, elementary.
The language shouldn't matter, it's how you present the
problems at hand. Of course, at some point, any serious
programmer will have to learn assembly of some flavor. . .