|laziness, impatience, and hubris|
Frankly, I think that a subroutine should return one and only one type of entity.... That leads to serious hard-to-debug issues. This isn't theoretical - it's personal experience speaking.
In isolation, those sound like wise words, but essentially what you are saying now, is that you think all uses of Perl's context sensitivity are bad and should be deprecated, because you've had trouble with it occasionally. That argument is as fallacious as these, please read the counter arguments.
Context is a unique, integral, important and powerful feature of Perl--and unless things have changed markedly in the last short while--it will be at the core of Perl 6 also.
Speaking Perl without using context, is like speaking English (or French or Dutch or German), without contractions. Possible, but stilted, unnatural, laboured. It's speaking Perl like a foriegner.
Children are using contractions correctly aged 3 or 4 years. Can it really be so hard to get right?
Please, please. Is there no one out there with political weight and a descent level of (natural) language skills that'll help me defend my beloved Perl from the one-idiom-fits-all, OO uniformatists?
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.