Due to my C++ roots, I really find it more useful to think of Perl References as if they were pointers more than references, because of what my (limited) brain believes a reference should be. Apart from the (correct) pointer arithmetics stuff, the semantic of a Perl reference requires an indirection, while in C++ a reference is just some kind of alias for another variable/object and requires no indirection at all.
That's also why I'll feel less comfortable with Perl 6, which I understand will jump from "->" to "." for dereferencing in objects. But this is a mined field, 'cause I know really nothing about Perl 6!
Flavio (perl -e "print(scalar(reverse('ti.xittelop@oivalf')))")
Don't fool yourself.