Since we don't see too many responses from novices to broquaint's "Perl Idioms Explained" posts, I'd like to publicly provide a viewpoint.
You can get so much from things like perldoc and the O'Reilley books on Perl. However there are some times when I am learning Perl where I find my inner voice sounding like a little kid in math class. ("When will I ever use this?"). Now don't get me wrong, since I am learning Perl voluntarily, the inner voice doesn't sound as sullen/petulant as that kid, and I know that things that I (seemingly involuntarily) think that way about will turn out to be some of the most usefull tools at my disposal, but it is things like this post that make me go back and re-read the books and documentation on Perl until I own the concepts, that make me truly learn (and love) Perl.
I'd just like to give a public thanks to broquaint, and to the excellent monks who expand on these posts, who really help me (and many others, I'm sure) along in my quest for Perl knowledge.
Off I go to re-read ch.8 in my copy of the Camel, with what you all have provided in mind...(hmmm, I've always thought I was a pretty quick learner, but the fact that I have already worn out the book, considering my level of proficiency, reminds me that nothing worthwile is easy.)