Many attacks on Perl are based on ignorance and an incomplete feeling for the language. Perl is much less outdated than it is mature. The huge and active Perl community would tend to support that Perl is much more the latter than the former. Ask what ColdFusion can do that Perl can't, and what applications ColdFusion excels at. Even if the core doesn't support certain features easily, CPAN makes a huge variety of applications trivial to implement. I like Perl because it can do just about anything, and with much less effort than other languages.
You can find great rebuttals to typical Perl criticisms at Beginning Perl: Ten Perl Myths on perl.com. Explain Perl well to your friend, and you may well convert him :).