Nobody wants Perl to be slow. But concrete suggestions are more useful for making it fast than generalized complaints. Furthermore on some items you'll find that there are difficult trade-offs and speed (or speed on the item that you may care about) is of lower priority than something else that you complain about.
To take the specific item that you complain about, I happen to know that Perl's regular expression engine could easily be sped up by removing a sanity check for pathological regular expressions. The result would be to speed up a lot of programs by an unnoticable amount, at the cost of making some pathological ones will surprise by taking a few billion years to finish. That change might make Perl look good on a benchmark, but would result in more bug reports. Do you really want that change?
Furthermore other areas of slowness are due to unavoidable design considerations. For instance Perl is a highly dynamic interpreted language. That is just never going to be as fast as a static compiled language. Which matters more to you, performance or programming convenience? If it is raw performance, then you're probably using the wrong language.
However I have good news for you. The Parrot project is creating a new version of Perl, and is very concerned with performance considerations. If you want to be of assistance, you could try implementing the shootout test suite in Parrot byte-code, submit that to the project, and identify specific performance issues that you uncover.
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