in reply to I like Python's interactive shell a lot better than Perl's debugger. What are my alternatives?
There are various REPL programs for perl, as a simple google search will attest. You might take a look at them and see if any fit your needs. With Terminal::Readline (IIRC) and the eval statement, it's not too difficult to cobble something together a simple REPL. So you might start with a simple one and add whatever features you want...
A couple links that google gave me are:
Update: I didn't even think of CPAN which has a few interesting REPL and Shell modules. (e.g. Devel::REPL, Carp::REPL, Perl::Shell, ....)