I am the least of the acolytes, but I have the gray hair of the aged and the round belly of the Buddha. Perhaps that counts for something?
With Perl 7 planning to be 5.32 rebranded and cleaned up, I would recommend focusing on that. Instead of an incremental increase, 5.4 to 5.12, you gain a significant step forward *and* you gain stronger marketability. A customer doesn't care about upgrading from 5.4 to 5.8, or 5.12. It costs them admin and developer time and buys them nothing. It buys *you* something, but the customer pays the cost.
I'm personally tired of seeing job postings for "modern" languages when the listing doesn't include Perl. Okay, Perl isn't modern and cool and hip-ster like Ruby or Python. Perl is a lot harder; but if I can code OOP in Perl then a "modern" language like Python or Ruby won't be much trouble at all.
Perl 7 is a larger move and an easier sell. It buys us a lot more than an incremental increase. Yes, the last major update might not have gone as planned, but if we learn the lessons then this one might be a huge win for all of us.