I'm the CTO of an Austin-based company with some significant Perl 5 code, and the new President of the Austin Perl Mongers.
I'm in the process of reviving efforts to create a real Perl compiler, with the explicit goal of making Perl run at speeds within an order of magnitude of optimized C.
This could be achieved any number of ways, with possible ideas taken from PONIE, Blizkost, Inline::C, Parrot/Tornado VMs, perlcc, B:CC, etc.
I'm not particularly tied to any one method of achieving the Perl speedup, as long as we end up with some successful optimizing and compiling mechanism I will be happy.
Of course I realize this is a massive undertaking that many people have wanted over the years. I'd love to get it done and released at YAPC 2013, which will hopefully be held here in Austin.
What are your thoughts about how this might most effectively and efficiently be achieved?
PS - I just e-mailed a copy of this posting to Ingy, Dan Sugalski, Artur Bergman, and Nick Clark. Who else should I try to contact directly?