|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
While tilly's perfectly capable of defending himself, I thought I'd point out that there are fewer people able to think outside the box as quickly or clearly as he can. He brings up a fair point; CPAN is more than a module resource, it's also a resource for well (and badly) written code.
As I'm sure you've noticed by now, we don't like handing out crutches. Programmers have to solve a lot of different types of problems in very different ways, especially Perl programmers. What might be an effective hack for an administrator would be completely inappropriate for a public CGI script. What works on one OS needs a different approach on another. And so on.
Thus, we prefer to help people learn to build their own solutions, the solutions appropriate for their given specific task and needs. While certain idioms and solutions can be generalized for different situations, these are either a) trivial or b) few and far between. The ones that can be "universally" applicable have already been documented, either in the O'Reilly books, the POD, our archives, and other good resources.
For example, you asked for:
Other examples I've needed are commatize a number, right/left pad string or number, etc., etc..
Guess what. You already have these in a book that you either own or have read in the bookstore; specifically Llama3. There's a very good discussion of commatizing numbers in one of the later chapters, along with a number of discussions of formatting using printf and sprintf. If you've haven't finished the book, yet, hang in there. You'll find starting places for what you're looking for.
Note: (If you need the page numbers, /msg me. My copy's at work and I'll look them up tomorrow. Since the index of the book was written before the prose, I suspect you can find these discussions using the index.)
Don't forget that the archives contain a number of discussions from people solving the same problems. The code is in here; you just have to take the initiative, invest in your own learning curve, and suit your code to the action. Experience is the best teacher and you gain experience through practice.
If you don't, then how will you learn and truly master Perl?