in reply to Seeking guidance on getting better at Perl.

Thanks for the good question; I've appreciated the answers as well. I have enjoyed doing much of what was mentioned above, such as going through the code/writing my own packages, and trying new things. In addition, here are my takes/recommendations on a few books:

Finally, I wish I had sooner learned to start every program with:

use strict; use warnings; use diagnostics;

I'm sure you've seen the first two around everywhere; the last one supplements them with verbose warnings that give you full suggestions on what the problem might be, often including working suggestion examples. Not necessary for Perl pros, but if you are like me and can get lost in obscure meanings of the brackets, parenthesis, and commas, diagnostics is a life saver.