I think you and rovf are both right. Perl is extremely easy to dive into and use but terribly difficult to master. I wrote my first production code 2 weeks after picking up the Llama 10 years ago. 10 years later I still learn new things here at least weekly. This is part of Perl's charm for me. It's exactly as useful/difficult/easy/productive as you have the interest to make it. Its payment curve coincides with its learning curve.