I can relate, not by dealing with people programming perl, but simple web pages. I work for the Web Development Office at my University, and it seems that there are a very limited number of people who want to implement new things in their web pages. We get calls all of the time from everyone, from students to professors, who don't know much html, or they're still doing things the way they did 4 years ago. They all want their pages to look good, or have some useful items on it, but if they can't get those with old, outdated code, then they won't take the time to learn it. I actually had one guy tell me that he doesn't have the time to learn basic things like tables, etc... when he probably could have learned all about tables during the time it took for him to tell me he had no time :)
in reply to New stuff to learn
I've come up with a solution to our problem, take control away from people who can't adapt to new ideas--along the lines of "oh, you don't know CSS and you don't have the time to learn, that's fine, no web for you!". (actually I don't think I could be that mean :) If people don't want to implement new things, don't let them have the chance. I want to change the name of our office to the OTC (Office of Total Control). My plan is to use HTML::Template and a database to control all of the web pages on campus. Users log in, enter their data in a form, and the perl script does the rest. When some new technique is discovered, we (those who want to learn) change the template. The beauty of the plan is that similar systems are already in place all over the web. I'm sure there will be some initial resistance to it, but hey, if they can't cut it, don't let em. If someone really wants to learn, they can figure out how to change/affect the template, by doing that, they'll be forced to learn new techniques...or, Heaven-forbid, they ask us to teach them something new (and they really want to learn).
I'm sure Edison turned himself a lot of colors before he invented the lightbulb. - H.S.