I was pretty surprised by this, too. I have comments on your test, and then a theory. First the comments:
The values in @find are integers, but in the if_else comparison tree, you test for string equality.
Testing the hash for existance of a key first, seems wasteful. It might be faster if you did an eval and only acted on failure in that case. Of course, I haven't benched that, yet.
My theory: maybe, just maybe, perl does the thing C used to (and maybe still does) and and builds if-else chains into a hash table for evaluation. Dunno.
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