in reply to Big, bad, ugly regex problem
If that fails I would use the fact that when you match in scalar context with /g, you can loop over the variable as you parse it. This allows you to create little parse engines. Not as cute for small problems, but it allows one huge regex to turn into a series of small ones and some looping logic, which is much, much better!
Confession: I don't face this kind of problem often, and I have not faced it since hearing of Parse::RecDescent. So while I think that is a better answer, parse engines are what I have personally done.