Re: Why exactly is Perl any worse than Python?
Well, one obvious one right off the top of my head: the way in perl you can assign a variable to an object or a reference to an object, and you deal with them in different ways. Dealing with references is syntactically ickier, but you have to use references in all sorts of cases, so you're forever creating and then dereferencing the damn things. In Python, they're just *always* references, but you really don't have to worry about it. A corollary of this is that in perl you can have a subroutine called tags which puts a string called $tags in an array called @tags in a hash called %tags and they're *all different bloody things*. (yes, this is an almost-real example, exaggerated only slightly for effect...)
perl also has more immediately-obvious weirdness to it than python, stuff you will rapidly run into as soon as you start trying to work with existing perl, like the whole $_ thing.
I hate perl a lot less than many people, and way less than I hate PHP (how does that not top all of these lists?!) but I would say it's definitely somewhat more of a pain to work with than python overall in most ways.