I think at least part of the problem was that I was very new to Perl and probably didn't have enough nomenclature sorted out. Specific details are hard to remember - this was six months ago after all.
I recall looking for help with populating HoH and AoH type structures and getting very frustrated that there seemed to be examples that were one letter away (AoA ...) from what I wanted to do, but nothing that addressed what I was looking for. Often there didn't seem to be anything that pointed me in the right direction or I couldn't find it. It took a while for dereferencing syntax to sink in and looking that stuff up seemed to be somewhat of a chore.
These days I tend more to use the "Perl Pocket Reference" and perldoc, or the Chatterbox.
I did enjoy reading the Camel and learned a lot from it that way, but not as a reference.
DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel