in reply to perl & SQL best practices
You're overly optimistic about the "higher level": the kind of decisions you're talking about are typically made almost entirely for social reasons, and since you're the only guy (at the moment) who needs to feel comfortable with it, there isn't a lot of reason to do things one way or the other.
You might try to imagine what kind of person you're likely to hire to assist you with the work. Currently, there's a good deal of ignorance about the RDBMS-world among programmers, and most of them seem to be looking for strategies to avoid learning anything about it (e.g. object-relational mappers are very popular, as are "non-relational" databases). Keeping the SQL simple and moving the complexity to the perl side would seem to be a good bet.
But if you're fortunate enough (I would call it fortunate) to be hand-crafting your SQL, there's no reason to go overboard on that strategy... by all means, do table joins on the database side, for example. Make use of uniqueness constraints, normalize the schema as well as you can.
I would have to think twice about using stored procedures, unless they were a clear win for some reason.