Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I'd rather just see simple function calls with a few simple if statements.
But then that would not be Perl. It would be a subset of Perl almost certainly guaranteed not to make use of its expressive power. You may also program in the particular language that subset maps into, for what it's worth. Of course this doesn't scale well with the fact that you may have to program in Perl. I can't comment on that... except that if you applied for a a job as a Perl programmer you should be supposed to be familiar with the language and its peculiarities including alas! its corner cases and duouble-alas! misuses.
Don't misunderstand me: this not to say that your fears and concerns expressed in such a colorful manner above are fantasies of yours. I can understand them quite well, however not only -as chromatic correctly remarked- you can "write terrible awful nearly obfuscated code" in less feature-rich languages too, but you can write perfectly clean an maintainable code in a feature-rich language as well; even exploiting those (tricky) features you are scared by. In other words these are mostly orthogonal concepts!
Now your claims fundamentally amount to the belief that there's an implication between feature-richness and tendency to write "bad" code. Of course such a cause-effect relationship does exist, but although it is difficult to quantify this kind of things, my judgment, and the common perception here, are that it is of a much much smaller entity than you seem to think.
Actually, in my experience, bad code I had to deal with was not bad because of the (ab)use of "advanced" features. It was bad because of "basic" shortcomings, e.g. no use of strict and warnings, unchecked opens and so on.
In particular "bad" code -in my acceptation- indeed often features string evals, always in situations in which it is not needed by any means. And I can understand your concerns with tied, variables, although variables do not tie themselves on their own. But I still can't understand what scares you in closures. Care to give an example?