Going off-topic, and perhaps I have simply had bad luck, but no "professional" PC technician has ever been able to solve my problems, be they hardware or software. If the issue is obvious, I can fix it myself, and if it isn't, I'll try everything I know and only then go to someone else. At this point most professionals rule out the obvious things (usually by asking questions, though sometimes I have to help them ask those in the first place), and after that they either give up or suggest a brute-force solution -- such as formatting the harddrive or buying a new soundcard.
I'm not saying people who build computers professionally wouldn't know their job. If I had a company and were looking for reliable servers, I would look at the big manufacturers and those only, not order parts online and build it myself. However, since all computers I own are just for my amusement and I like to tinker, eventually I will open the case (of any electrical appliance), and there goes the warranty. I also like being able to replace parts when I need to, and custom-built computers sometimes have non-standard solutions.
Going back to CPAN, I agree that it is a great resource. Even if some modules have bugs, some have bad documentation, some fail their unit tests, and some fail to compile with a modern C compiler or on an otherwise current system, there are many, many good modules there just waiting to be used. Every time I have to program in some other language, I wish I could use CPAN. This happens even with Java and the disturbingly large standard library.
There's doesn't seem to be any similar effortless and standard way of installing external libraries in other programming language circles, so either you end up bundling the source with your application or programming it yourself -- usually in an ad hoc way. That you depend on external libraries is not an issue with Perl programs; you can simply use the standard installation tool to install the dependencies, and that's it. Can't be more practical.
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