I think the wantarray solution is fine, and not all that awkward. That's what wantarray is for.
I think I can make a case for scalar foo LIST to return the last element of the result
return wantarray ? @arr : $arr[-1];
instead of the first. A comma sequence behaves that way in scalar context, so that is the ordinary precedent competing with array count for behavior in scalar context.
A third possibility is to return a reference to the generated array. Some modules do that, but it is clearly not desired here.
No, I don't think you missed anything.
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