Shareware was just a stage on the road to open source.
I used to buy cheap shareware sometimes. Trinkets like a CD player and an HTML editor. I would not do so now, since Perl provides most of this kind of stuff for free.
Better yet, Perl gives me the tools to build my own tools.
The great thing about Larry Wall is that he is not at all conceited about the value of his brainchild. Larry talks up the Ruby language in interviews. And I doubt Larry would claim that Perl is soooooo great that one should buy it instead of using its competitors for free.