Thanks for responding, Chris. You'd be interested to know (as I mentioned in the OP), that the question "how do I extract text from a PDF" comes up a lot, and that the standard answer is always CAM::PDF.
in reply to Re: Extracting text from PDF. No really
in thread Extracting text from PDF. No really
After your response, it seems that there is no Perl module for reading/rendering PDFs, and that about the only reliable OOS way to do it is via pdftotext from either Xpdf or Poppler.