I added the following to my .vimrc
noremap <F4> <ESC>:make<C-M>
and the following, among others, to .vim/ftplugin/perl.vim
setlocal makeprg=perl\ -Mstrict\ -wc\ %
Now hitting F4 gets me a syntax check. In fact I've added a handful of other lines, so that F5 gives me a new window with clickable error messages that put the cursor on the line in question, and Ctrl-PageUp/Dn moves me from error to error as well. And once you master effective use of the ex command and the visual block mode, text almost edits itself.
Makeshifts last the longest.