The difference between lisp and perl is much more than just syntax or aesthetics. Is a bicycle more beautiful than a motorbike? That's depends on your taste. That's aesthetics. Is a bicycle faster than a motorbike, no, except maybe on a very short course or if the motorbike driver is very very bad and the cyclist if very very good.
Lisp's macros put it in a different league to Perl (5), Python, C, Java, C# and shell. Real macros mean that if you don't like something in the language or you think something's missing you can fix/add it yourself.
Macros are the ultimate in productivity, they are code that writes code and in fact you can even write macros that write other macros. For a lisp programmer, giving up macros would be a bit like any other programmer giving up subroutines (funnily enough if you only had macros and gotos you could add build your own subroutines through macros).