Overall, a great contribution to the monastery.
However, I take issue with your comments after "Whoa there tiger! What about non-root users!!!"
"No fear here", in my opinion, is wrong.
At least, it's wrong if you try to do things by monkeying with your environment.
The proper solution, in my experience, is to install perl locally.
As a non-root user on a shared web space -- typical scenario, I figure -- the only thing that would prevent you from doing that is lack of compile tools and lack of space. And in 2006, if your web hoster is cheaping you on either of these, you probably should look for a new web hoster.
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