I don't completely agree on the clear cut part. Their intentions are kinda .. different, but you can accomplish, quite well, a lot of things in either language. For instance, using a language, i'm implementing an architecture for doing a lot of reporting like manipulations. The data is being fetched from the database and what not, but the underlying things that can be cached and redone w/o going back to the db, is done in that architecture. Am i doing it in perl or java? Either would be good fits, if they were the only mitigating factors, eh?
But you are right. There are some things that are a lot easier in some languages. I love to say it: perl is quite expresive and easy to read if you are consistent, which for at least expressing certain things, make it really easy. Basic example, the merge sort. In java and c, i have to start allocating memory carefully, where in perl, I can be less careful, and do it in fewer lines, making the algorithm more prominent.. well.. if I don't start obfuing it.. which I won't. :)
Then B.I. said, "Hov' remind yourself
nobody built like you, you designed yourself"