This is definitely a language that follows in C's mindset: "Here's all the rope you need...." Having spent much of my professional programming time maintaining others' code, including hacking in authentication features to a Twiki instance, I always approach Perl with caution and care. After all, that thing is loaded. There are weird punctuation and non-alphanumerics all over the place and more implicit variables and quirky one-off idioms than you can shake a stick at. And because there's more than one way to do it, no two web pages with sample code are even similar.
That experience has led me to Python, with its "there should be one -- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it" and emphasis on code readability. And I still hold by that mindset. The battle cry of the anti-Python folks seems to be "Two words: 'significant whitespace'." For me (and for many designers, interestingly) whitespace was always significant -- I think in outlines and my pseudo-code has indentations all over every whiteboard I use -- and did long before I started using Python.
Nevertheless, I am nothing if not a curiosity-driven polyglot. So with a significant Nagios development effort in front of me, it was time to make peace with Perl.
And so, after a few weeks of intensive coding, I feel I have turned a corner. I'm enjoying my Perl coding -- reference types and sigils and the hopelessly unfocused user community notwithstanding. It's just fun to become productive in another language. In the coming months I hope to become more comfortable with the many, many idiomatic eccentricities of the language. So, with that attitude: Tally ho!