I did the exact reverse, Common Lisp/ Scheme (in the 1980s) => C/ Java (in the 1990s) => Perl (now). My reasons for using Perl these days are that:
- Most of the code I write is for prototyping, to prove a point, it does not need to be fast or maintained by others and Perl (for me) is the quickest language to write (not the most efficient or most maintainable).
- I work on Windows/ Linux and other systems and I need a language that just works everywhere.
- CPAN: The structure of Perl just makes building reusable modules easy, the reason there is no CPAN for Lisp is because of the way the language works. CPAN is just so far ahead of anything similar it makes it possible to build stuff with Perl that would take forever with any other language.
- Style: Perl can be written in whatever style makes it easy the address the problem. My scripts are a mix of procedural, functional, object and logic programming. This can make it hard to maintain someone else's code, but that's not usually an issue.
And no, I never left Emacs. I used it on the Symbolics in the 1980s and I use it on my Windows machine today.