Most of the solutions above are fine -- especially hardburn's one-liner (that one got my ++!) -- but folks who know about unix command-line tools know that this is usually just a job for the "grep" command:
in reply to doing a search and replace on a large file
Of course, perl offers so much that "grep" can't do: more powerful regexes, support for multiple character encodings, and liberation from the old "every record must be just one line of text" mind-set. How about a Perl version of grep?
grep 'pattern to be kept' old.file > new.file
Well, I'm sure I'm not the only who has done this -- I just couldn't stop myself... Here it is: grepp -- Perl version of grep (I wrote it a year or so ago, have been using it regularly on solaris, linux and macosx -- should work fine on ms-windows -- and finally got around to posting it here).