Right, well I too feel that premature optimization is the route to all evil. I personally would find it hard to compete with native C; however, I do recall Java having similar speed issues (it being non-natively compiled). Then (over the course of a decade) everyone swapped out boxes for VMs... Virtual Machines which, perhaps inspired by slowness, happened to use the speed which a Java program runs as a common benchmark. So everyone started optimizing their VMs to run Java programs quickly. We are now at that point where Java can run as fast (or faster) than a "native" application (clearly depending on your environment and how you define native).
I didn't know Reini was doing something like this... am checking it out now.
in reply to Re^3: Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler
in thread Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler