in reply to
eval to replace die?
I doubt that PBP (2005) is up to date with the latest developments in this area.
The recently released (2010) 2nd edition of
Effective Perl Programming recommends the CPAN
Try::Tiny module (released 2009)
and the new core autodie pragma (added to perl 5.10.1 in 2009): see items 101 ("Use die to generate exceptions") and 103 ("Handle exceptions properly").
In particular, item 103 summarizes with "handling $@ is tricky, but Try::Tiny does it correctly". Re dependencies etc., the Try::Tiny CPAN ratings look good ("small, zero dependencies, ...").