I have to disagree with you there. Kobesearch.cpan.org keeps some stats, and it shows that beyond the base XML::Parser, XML::DOM is the most popular, followed by libxml-perl (containing the PerlSAX1 code). Granted XML::SAX or other modules like it aren't on the map yet, but the above two modules show that Perl XML users do want standards based tools.
Actually I find those statistics quite sad! XML::DOM, in fact the DOM itself, at least level 1, is a really bad tool for most XML transformations, and I would think that libxml is queried just because of the name. Most questions I read are about straight XML::Parser or XML::Simple.