Perl has to be the most beautiful language that a computer can speak. Well, we all know that the computer speak in binary, really. Perl is a reasonable man-machine interface. I teach it to my students because it is powerful. It's a tool that let you do great things with computers.
I have used some computer languages: Basic, Pascal, C, C++, ADA... I liked C (i still use it), but the others... uff... they have serious flaws (there is no "perfect language")... all languages have pitfalls. I like C because it trusts the programmer, it let you do crazy things (take a integer and treat like a char or a string...). C++ and JAVA in the other hand, impose a developing model too strict. Specifically, they obligue us to use Objects. I think Object-Oriented languages are fine, and the OO metodology has its points, but I don't like to be obligated to think in some way. There are many situations that Objects are fine for, as there are many other situations that Objects feel ankward.