|laziness, impatience, and hubris|
When I said, “Catalyst has 906 other modules associated with it,” I did not mean that “you should install them all!” :-D
“Whoa, there! Slow down, pardner! Whoa!”
What I meant by this comment is: just within the auspices of “the Catalyst, for example, framework, there are more than 900 modules that you can employ in your application without having to write any of them.”
What you should do is... “stop and look around.” Don't try right-away to do anything. Instead, browse through the listing just to get an idea of what's out there. The web-site for Catalyst is http://www.catalystframework.org. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of what you should spend a day or two prowling through.
The website http://search.cpan.org is also very helpful. CPAN is the principal library of contributed code for Perl. If you type-in the search term "AJAX," you'll see that there are (currently) 146 modules associated with that. So... am I telling you to “install all of those?” Again, no. What I would suggest that you do, to start with, is to simply browse through that list...
“So... install that?” No, just look around.
Your instincts to “just dive in” might be going-off just a little bit too early here. This language is so vast, compared to PHP, that you'll be floating fairly quickly. Look before you leap, and your initial forays into Perl will thereby be much more satisfying and fruitful. Your time will be better spent than otherwise it is likely to be.