Unfortunately, first impressions are everything.
Or fortunately. I was fortunate enough to read Learning Perl, and realize that merlyn
is not only an adept writer, but that he also cares deeply about the subject matter. That was my first impression.
Now I come here and don't even have to pay money to learn from him. He just reviews code for free. Not a bad deal. One of these days I want my company to be making the kind of money that can bring Mr. Schwartz in for a week to do hands on training and code review with me and my fellow coders. Until then, I thank not only merlyn, but all of the other donors here at Perlmonks.
They are helping me become a better programmer. For free. That's tough to beat.