Although you should know that Damian uses ref($caller) extensively in his book (see all the CD::Music examples).
I'm not saying that's right, but it makes the context of the recommendation to read the book sound sort of self-contradictory.
Me, I've been castigated by merlyn for using ref($caller), and I've (sort of) come around to his view. That is, $obj->new() just always struck me as a perfectly reasonable way to obtain a new, 'blank' object of the object's class. Expecting it to clone just never made any sense to me (if you meant it to clone, you'd've named it clone(), right?). But I've come to sense that I'm in the minority on this one, and calling $obj->new() hasn't ever been truly necessary in my code anyway; if this is going to be that confusing to that many people, then it's a de facto bad idea. (Though still, I'd like to know how many people would really be confused by this, and how many wouldn't be, but are just saying that someone else may get confused.)