I think the reason once again can be found in the fact that Larry designed Perl from a linguist's point of view, rather than a mathematician's. Obfuscation (ok, it's there for C too), poetry, the brevity of code, it's all part of the common theme that Perl feels much like a natural language; more so, at least, than your average programming language. The fact is that while you can do fun stuff with other languages, it is fun to be doing stuff with Perl. No other programming language quite manages to be an end in itself the way Perl can be. Meanwhile, you can get actual jobs done in Perl as well, and very well so in fact.
As a result, and I suspect that's true to varying degrees of all the Perl enthusiasts, I tend to regard the journey as the destination as far as coding with Perl is concerned. I don't lose sight of the goal, but the getting there is as much fun as playing with the result. That's something other languages somehow lack, which makes their following mere communities, as opposed to Perl which has a culture.
Makeshifts last the longest.