in reply to
Should I leave behind beautiful code or readable code?
As someone who is trying to fit Perl between all the other tools system administrators have to develop and maintain using aging synapses, I can use the help.
Asking the question indicates you have a lesson to learn. Read the first chapter in Damian Conway's book Perl Best Practices. I think you will find the answer enlighting.
I liked ferriera's approach. Maybe with a small comment. To quote Conway: "optimize for comprehensibility:easy-to-read and easy-to-understand are necessaryily the same thing." Good luck on your quest.