Try things like DBD::CSV if you can have DBI on the machine.
Of course it all depends on the data you're using (like stated above), but when you want to go for DBD::CSV, I would like to advise looking at DBD::SQLite aswell. For my little project with only several hundred lines of data, I found an impressive speed increase from switching from DBD::CSV to DBD:SQLite. But then again ... maybe I'm just a really lousy DBA ;-)
EDIT: Removed shamefull plug for my website ...
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