in reply to
What can bring the excitement back to Perl?
Pray do not confuse “what enables Tim O'Reilly to sell books” with what may drive interest in the Perl programming-language!
The forces that motivate real-world users to be interested in Perl, and to continue to be interested in it, are really very simple: they're making money from it, right now, and they would prefer to continue to do so.
“Newbies,” if I may be so brash as to say it, are always “slaves of the latest fashions,” whereas a more-balanced viewpoint would be that “fashions come and fashions go, and evermore shall it be so.” Once a business has decided to stake its business on (say...) Perl, and once it has been satisfied so-to-do, it really just wants to continue doing that. And Perl still proves itself quite able to do that.