It seems your first experience here has been a trial by fire, but it's good that you haven't taken it personally :^)
With respect to your comments about Parrot, it is important to note that Perl has always been an interpreted language, and therefore run on a virtual machine, namely perl. The difference in Perl 6 is that the compiler and interpreter (VM) are separated from one another, something like the difference between javac and java. So the question is not whether there should be a VM, but what it should do and how it should stand in relation to other tools and languages. My understanding is that the affordances made that allow Parrot to run multiple languages (after compilation to bytecode) also enable functionality like syntax modification, which pushes Perl toward Wall's goal of a metalanguage. So the design choice both increases Perl's flexibility and provides greater options to other languages.
As to the aesthetics of -> vs . and . vs _, these debates ultimately must take a backseat to what works. When I started coding in Perl after using Java for a couple years, I was mortified by sigils ($, %, @, etc.) and the arrow syntax. After three years of Perl, I've gotten used to them and often compulsively type them now regardless of language. Besides, there are always source filters and various pragmas to enable you to customize the way you want to write your code.
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