Re: Why exactly is Perl any worse than Python?
AWK is fundamentally different, in that it was designed to match patterns and insert replacements rather than to perform sequential operations with its own robust flow control. Virtually every "shop" had something like that which it used to do things like systematic modification of source files before they were compiled/assembled: I used something called Stage2 (W.M.Waite) for that sort of job.
And irrespective of whether it really was the first, by the time Perl reached v4 it offered a vast improvement when compared with the alternatives. /Much/ more significant than that offered by Python when compared with Perl etc.
Perl's major problem, leaving aside the perennial tendency of twits to advertise their superiority by writing impenetrable one-liners, was the sigil prefixes. Python's major problem is the significance of tabs and indentation, which can make it virtually unusable as a component of some larger system which emits code fragments. Quite frankly, the World deserves something better.