in reply to
Get me excited about perl
Perl is huge and it can do everything. Even speed is rarely a problem these days. But the real clincher for me is text handling. The world runs on a few hundred characters at almost every level and Perl lets you control this system in almost any way imaginable. Meaning is abstracted from external reality into this system to be manipulated by Perl. On more than one occasion I have solved problems in Perl that teams of cleverer people than me couldn't solve without it.
Hilarious though it may sound to The Monks, it is not rare for me to be referred to as a computer genius (I kid you not) but the reality is simply that a combination of Perl and real world experience makes one look good to people who don't have either. Perl stands you on the shoulders of giants and gives you intellectual gearing like no system I have encountered in 30 years of programming. It's a problem solving framework, if you can conceive of a thing then with Perl in your toolbox you can usually find a way.
For example, text handling lets you orchestrate unix systems as problem solving facilities. This gives you almost all the power of the world of modern computing to do with as you will - for the price of a download. Hell, with Perl you can even write systems that write themselves as they run. How cool is that?
If you think I'm talking too big about a "scripting language", just ponder for a few minutes what Turing could have done with Perl. Having "Many ways to do it" gives you evolutionary options, many pathways are open..
Maybe you can use some of that?