Four of the seven things you cited (if, else, for, while) aren't really functions, per se, but are flow-control "operators" well, not "operators", exactly, but keywords in syntactic constructions.
in reply to Re: functional functions
in thread functional functions
I think punkish is very much aware of this fact. Considering that he is into Perl programming since 4+ years. I think what he meant is, till date he used to developed complicated logics using loops, conditions etc, rather than simply using built-in functions.