Clever, but maybe a little too clever. This isn't the clearest construct in the world ...
But I thought the whole point of the OP was to be too clever by half, and clarity be damned.
IMHO, the pair of statements
my $existing_result = $self->find_by_something(@args);
return $existing_result if (defined $existing_result);
is perfectly clear and sufficiently unclever to help me avoid future foot trauma.
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