Sorry I was not very clear on couple of things. When I meant piping, yes I had the pipe inside my open in mind. I did not realize that I used a command line example where pipe means cut -d, ... | perl ... :)
to graff's comment... I used the word portability very loosely and it is my fault... I sometimes write small utilites for my co-workers and wanted these utilities to work on other OSes...even though i could find a version of cut for windows (actually i did not know about this until after reading your post), i will not be able to install it on other's machines for policy reasons :(
I did not think about the print idea (even though it does not make a diff in the runtime), I feel such small improvements can help!!!
I agree with you all that it definitely worth the effort to have the task done in Perl as it gives enormous amount of flexibility.
Thanks again all for your wonderful comments!