in reply to Why I learn a language.
I started learning Perl when I got a job as the head Perl programmer at a startup company! It was the primary tool for developing in the eCommerce package we decided on (InterShop), and we just tore in and thought we'd learn it together. I had programmed in C before and thought that it had some similarities-- but it was the differences that blew me away. I have to say that some of it is pretty unique. I think the real surprise for me was the ability to switch the order of things around:
#check for money in the account reject_credit_card() if theres_no_money(account);
As far as elegance, I try to achieve it, but generally I try to get the thing to work first, then work on elegance. Being able to use other people's work from CPAN modules makes this a lot simpler.--