Given your example and some of what you wrote (including criticism of "=cut"), I got the impression that the Perl-5-style "obvious" way to write paragraphs and verbatim text blocks had been dropped. I think that it is one of the best features of (Perl 5) POD, that you can denote a paragraph by simply adding a blank line and denote sample code by simply indenting a paragraph (both so intuitive, compact, clear, and convenient that they were obvious to both the author and the reader).
Checking the linked Synopsis, I see that this isn't the case. The obvious method is still supported. The example in the (well, that is the) Synopsis looks much more like Perl 5 POD and looks better, IMO, than the example you gave above. Just for y'all's information (including other readers who might have gotten a similar impression but didn't want to bother to browse the Synopsis).
Thanks for the Synopsis and for the explanation here, Damian.