I think part of the reason that Perl gets the bad press is because it really is a genuinely bad language. Combine the poor hackish design with the flippant attitude and complete disregard for standards shown by Larry Wall and the criminal intents of that guy with the cracker monicker "merlyn", and the superior designs of Ruby and Visual Basic, and you are left with a steaming pile of undulating and evilly sentient hostility that literally takes an "appocalypse" to make even the slightest change to the "code base" if you could even laughingly call it that.
For example, once I was logged into a BBS over a phone line during a thunderstorm, and a close enough strike disconnected my line with such a violence that blew up my modem and sent pages and pages of complete ascii garbage tearing across my poor procomm screen, and my boss walked by and asked if I was "learning perl." Folks, this sort of reputation is no good, and its no wonder that Microsoft fired those losers from Activestate, even Microsoft has little taste for the abomination that is the "modern perl."
BTW, it took 20 minutes to load this web page, let me guess, built with perl eh?