I am at an absolute loss of words to express my gratitude towards your amazing responses. Its as if the monks consider answering with such knowledge, clarity,earnestness their moral duty.
I posted the question late in the night yesterday and based on what I had heard, was half expecting either ignorance or rebuttal with perhaps a few enlightening replies , but to my utter dismay, I get such amazing responses. Not a single reply with even a shred of negativity, nor any with a holier than though attitude. You guys make folks like me love Perl even more.
I had heard from a friend that one is more likely to get RTFM'd here or highly likely to receive a cold shoulder. But now I understand how totally incorrect his statements were. He had almost warned me to "tread carefully" here based on his experience. I'm going to mail him the link to this node. Thanks once again for your encouraging and knowledgeable answers. I hope this node stays here as a reminder for those who might have preconceived notions about this place.