Does XAMPP install a c compiler? The reason I ask is that I would suggest going for Strawberry Perl
since I have used it for quite some time (for both business and personal use) with no problems. Being able to use CPAN on windows is a great thing, even if you are just starting out. Installing Strawberry Perl
I think that using the Strawberry Perl
installer and installing/configuring Apache
would be worth the extra effort since, had the user never installed/configured Apache my themselves (by this I mean configure httpd.conf etc themselves) then IMHO it is good to know how to do this sort of thing.
for further information about Perl on the Windows platform see http://win32.perl.org