Well... my first instinct is to avoid these religious wars. If I'm a Protestant and you're a Roman Catholic your arguments for being a Catholic are as valid as mine for being a Protestant or whatever your belief system or lack of one for that matter.
That said: I am a devout believer in "right tool for the job." I have a laptop that runs Linux Mint but my Desktop won't work with Mint. I run straight up Debian on my desktop (AKA Gnu/Linux if you do a uname -a on the box.) I have used Fedora, RHEL, Centos, Gentoo and a few others not to mention BSD in a few cases. My work laptop runs Winbloze 7 and to get around that I run Cygwin/X. Each case has its pluses and minuses but they all work for the given need. Certainly if I had my druthers I'd be running some form of Linux on my work laptop, but given the direction (right or wrong) of computing where I work that is not feasible.
Perl of fifteen years ago and the Perl of today bear some resemblance to one another but I can say there are enough differences that the newest version(s) are far better than what we had to work with fifteen years ago.
Folks that question the relevance of Perl today are in my opinion missing the boat. There are plenty of "ancient languages" out there that remain relevant. I offer "C" as an example with "C++" being another. Most of Linux at the lower levels are written in one or both. There are Python scripts in some of the distros for utility functions and quite frankly I've always questioned "why Python?" but that's just me.
Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg