in reply to Volunteering as a way to learn more Perl
Going with chromatic's suggestion sounds like the best idea so far. (At least for Portland area people.)
If I had free time, I'd be doing that.
Instead I've been working on the House of Dreams website. Currently generated by Perl, moving to a less static version once I go through a decent design phase.
The other way to get a an internship is by networking. I worked at one company that wound up signing up an "intern" and assigning him to me. He was just learning programming, though he had a PHD in Math IIRC. He got in mainly because he was a friend of another developer.