I know what you're saying, tilly. I'm feeling the frustration of the shoddy coding I learned in this book now, however, it's hard for me to beat up on the book that really got me to want to buckle down and learn perl.
Part of it's accessibility is that it wasn't overwhelming, like some techie books can be. Unfortunately, being "underwhelming" meant some very important things were left out.
That's why I said "cautiously recommend," if a newbie goes into this book with the attitude "I can learn from this but shouldn't take it as the Word," they can get a lot out of it.
Besides, should the "reviews" section be only for the very best? It makes sense to include even the bad or mediocre, to let monks know before the plunk cash down on a stinker.