I found this very insightful, thanks for posting! Holli is right, scholars will go ape over PerlMonks. You (and previous posters) also were right that scholars would accept the CLI, because many academics -- especially my / our generation, are primarily print-verbal oriented. Perl is just another language, with rules, as you said.
in reply to Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities
I remember one seminal incident in my middle-school teaching where I was sending a shell script to bash, and one of the kids 'got it'... light bulb time!
"Oh... you talk to the computer and it answers back! Cool!"
We went forward from there.