I used to be a big fan of Perl. It was the first programming language I really liked. I felt like it didn’t get in my way. CPAN was and still is the best collection of open-source libraries ever assembled.
Then I got into Ruby, and was very happy with the way it cleaned up Perl’s syntax but still didn’t get in my way. There aren’t nearly as many Gems as CPAN modules, but it’s a solid foundation.
Recently I went back to Perl for a small project. Aside from the predictable mistakes — I kept trying to put colons before my hash keys to make them like Ruby symbols — I realized how nice Ruby really is. Perl is definitely powerful, but once you get beyond the text munging it was designed for it can get irritating, especially the ass-backwards way it does OOP. And I found myself missing Ruby’s code blocks. Perl has code blocks too, but understanding them takes a whole book.