It is so incredibly refreshing to discover an entire community of people in pursuit of the same knowledge you've dedicated yourself to finding. Not only have I gained the knowledge of the dozens of links, sites, FAQ'S and documentations to help me with my studies, but I've also been able to participate in the perl community, which as a general rule, reciprocal interaction is a much more intense, beneficial learning experience, than reading, or some other form of one-sided discovery.
I think it is an incredible experience to have the opportunity to seek guidance from those who have been where you are, are where you're going and willing to discuss both their journey and their knowledge with those on the path presently. This is a wonderful place to be a part of. PerlMonks has helped me tremendously and continues to do so. I've also picked up a few friends along the way, which is a very nice bonus :D I know I don't quite fit into the "norm" of hacker culture, but the Monastery has accepted me nonetheless :D (even though it was a bit awkward at first;).
Bottom line, I personally believe I am quite fortunate to have the benefit of learning with the aid of the Monastery. Thanks Monks :D