There's the PerlMonks community, then the larger Perl community. What's not clear to me is how much you can separate them. It's easy to say you don't think of PerlMonks as a unit, and I definitely agree that the people are what make the community. But every group of friends needs a place to hang out. PerlMonks could feel like a large corporation, in which case it would die quickly. Ditto if an elitist attitude prevailed. To me it feels more like hitting the student center to get some studying in with classmates and friends back when I was in college. And I think the Monastery motif serves the community well. While it's fun to play off of the motif, I think it does help set a certain tone. And even though the titles are from Western Religion I have personally always felt PerlMonks has had an Eastern feel to it.
I get your point that PerlMonks isn't the site, but it also isn't just the people. It's the combination. Even the software we are using lends a certain flavor to the site. It's possible that Larry Wall's greatest achievement was in creating a language that for some unknown reason encouraged communities to form up around it in ways that other languages can only be envious of.
Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks