Sounds like we do similar types of work, except now most of the time I'm building new systems. For some reason the new distros use Perl 5.10.x, which I've found to have a lot of problems. I would rather have 5.8.8 than a 5.10.x. However, I install 5.12.2 as my preference. Experimenting with 5.14.x, I have had problems with CPAN mods compiling.
All of this is normal in a changing world, but what I don't like is the vendors modifying Perl to fix their crappy scripts.
I think if your just take all the defaults with compiling a new Perl, it will be installed in /usr/local/bin.
I wasn't trying to find fault with your statements as much as pointing to the new problem of using vendor modified Perl.
All the best...Ed
"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin