I think I understand what you're going through. I've also been at clients that for one reason or another decided it would be better to re-invent the wheel, then did a poor job at it. It's not just Perl, either. I've seen it with many other languages and technologies. There seem to be a few common reasons (excuses) I run into:
- We're unique. Nobody else in the world does anything like what we do, so we need new wheels that are rounder than everybody else's.
- Job security. All the code was written by a genius guy who left us six months ago. Don't touch it or it'll break.
- Budget justification. We had to find something for everyone on the staff to do so we could get funding next year.
- Control issues. If everything isn't built in-house, one day it could go away. (This is related to the "but who would support it" non-issue.)
Each of these has a reasonable response, but you need to phrase it such that someone with a business perspective will understand you. Probably the strongest argument would be to remind them that CPAN can affect budgets and delivery schedules very positively!
It appears you've grown disenchanted enough to want to throw in the towel. I don't know your circumstances, so maybe that is the right thing to do. But if it's just a question of "better late than never", I encourage you to go ahead and try to make your case. If you need specific arguments, post again. Many of our senior monks are both articulate and wise, and would probably be only too glad to help.
In any case, hang in there.