Actually I just uploaded 0.02 of XML::Generator::DBI to CPAN, which can take a prepared statement instead of as string as a parameter to execute(). And it already did the bind_columns trick. It also now makes Indent off the default, so it should be about as fast as I can make it.
The other thing I did was change your '//monks' in your XSLT to just 'monks', which is much faster, since it doesn't examine every single child node.
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