Last point first. Definitely not too harsh. All good points. Many thanks for your time.
1. Looks like the consensus is to send a link to a node on Perl Monks rather than a big spam mail. Link via password email, /msg, home node or in a prominent place on the site. New Monks Information Page is a good self explanatory title. The into has been re-worded to reflect its possible final position as a node here.
2-3. I've reordered as you suggest with Monk stuff now first.
4. Added the link to learn.perl.org
5. The linking is now consistent with Perl Monk links inlined and external links on their own line. Practical if not as pretty as you could get.
6. I've changed the whole tone to a mellow and consistent Q&A style i.e.:
Have you discovered the man pages yet?Followed by links to them and a few hints as to how to find the local ones for *nix and Win32 including perldoc.
7. In line with new more mellow tone *superior* de-materialised into a cloud of sub atomic particles condemed to float forever in the endless null void of cyberspace. I didn't like it much either when I reread it.
8. Heretical reference gone and replaced with a personal opinion.
9. Saints link now under heading of "Just who/what are the Perl Monks?" with a suggestion why someone might care to visit their home nodes - good free stuff!
As a node the requirement to be lean and mean is lessened but it still needs to be tight and to the point.