|P is for Practical|
I find that many, and maybe even most, high-quality developers are intrigued by Perl after trying it even if it is ultimately not their cup of tea.
A consultant-dude (article here) made the interesting assertion that geeks choose programming languages based upon social/psychological reasons, and then use a language's technical merits to justify their selection. The more I think about it, the more I think this guy is correct.
If more developers were intellectually honest about their languages choices, the following might be heard when discussing programming languages:
Perl is absolutely up to most industrial-strength tasks, as you can see from the postings of others in this thread.
Although Perl's performance on a machine can be and often is slower than C++, Java (Newer versions!) and others there can be little credible argument against the observation that Perl programs can be created a lot faster, which is very important since development time is the biggest cost in practically every software project.
As stated by others, the developers are what really matters, anyway. A dedicated, self-disciplined, thoughtful developer with an understanding of the problem-space should be able to create something good and high-quality with any modern language that he or she takes the time to become adept in.
Besides - in the spirit of being intellectually honest - I think that Perl is just a whole lot more fun to code in than most other languages. I find it to be the most rewarding language that I have ever taken the time to learn. Perl has appealing agility, style, humility, understanding and grace despite its faults... by comparison, most other languages seem more like that guy who just can't figure out how to use the stinkin' ATM machine. You know, that guy. ;)
Hanlon's Razor - "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"