My take is that code generation is a necessity when you need to express concepts difficult for a language. Case in point, compilers generated in C with yacc/bison. While we certainly could write those by hand in C, generating code is much more productive because we can work in a level of abstraction impossible in the target language without sacrificing C's efficiency.
Not the case with Perl, though. Perl is at a much higher level than C and I've yet to see a case where we actually need to generate Perl code due to the difficulty of writing it directly in the first place. The cases I've seen do it for performance. Even Autoload, while convenient, could be done away with without losing much, I think.
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