Perl is a pretty rockin' language, and we used it exclusively for many years. But about 6 years ago we switched to Python and haven't looked back much, mostly because it is so much better for dealing with large code bases. We really ran in to a limit to application size in Perl which were not factors in Python.
I can't say I know much about ROR (other than hype) but PHP, while powerful, puts code in HTML, which is just a bad idea and caused us headaches on a few projects. MVC (model-view-controller) is the way to go. We keep the interface completely separate from the code now using a templating system.
IMHO, Perl is being rewritten because it has to be. Perl has a different kind of life now. It is the 21st century replacement for csh, zsh, ksh, etc. But it isn't the language people will use for building large apps because it is not as good at that as other languages like Python. These languages took the ideas Perl made popular and tried to improve upon them, and some have. It seems to me that this last Perl rewrite will be the last major version of Perl to come out. It will be the old reliable, the language sys admins use and that will always work on every machine. But I think that the days of it being used for other purposes are over.
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