I know many in the Perl community, not just the Perl Monks, are working vigorously to assist newcomers in a friendly and helpful way as Larry Wall as asked us all to do.
You can go to http://learn.perl.org/ and join the maillist (top right box) if that would help you. The 3rd edition of the Llama http://oreilly.com/catalog/lperl3/ has gotten great reviews! I also know of at least one more book being written (much different slant than the Llama) for beginners (no publication date as yet). So between maillists, websites, and books you should find something to help get over the "mind-slam," as a friend of mine calls it, of Perl the language.
You seem to know that NOTHING can take the place of writing Perl code and making your own mistakes and discoveries! I learn more from my mistakes than my successes! (I hope I learn from both actually!)
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