I went through the same thing; the "revelation" coming 1998-1999. I had coded up a pretty large site (something like 400 pages) in HTML by hand. I was an experienced editor so I was quite good with find/replace/copy/paste sorts of things and it seemed manageable. I discovered Perl. I rewrote everything with it. Then I did it again. Then part of it again. Then again. Then I stopped and learned a framework after having redone the whole thing anywhere from 2-6 times depending on the part of the site(s).
And that's both the problem and the meat. I *wish* I had been turned on to templating engines and frameworks sooner. TT2 would have steamrolled the first three revisions of the site(s), saving me probably a solid year's worth of work. But if I had picked up those things early I probably wouldn't be employed as a Perl hacker today because I wouldn't have developed both the chops (especially debugging chops) and the experience to know to never again write a line of code someone else already wrote with a test suite and a decent distribution.
So, have fun, but go slow with attacking problems with new code and ask here often about things you're doing. If I had discovered this place earlier, or even recognized its importance sooner after I did discover it, I could have gained the experience and chops much faster and with a lot less pain. :)
A tip: HTTP/CSS/XHTML/JS stuff is extremely valuable to doing good and quick web-work; and it's easier to confront if you admit it right away instead of fighting it and digging in with the Perl as a defense against it.
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