The heart of this question is what your model of OO programming is.
Is it? I'd say that for me, this boils down to the
- Do you want to or need to permit someone to
call either $obj->new() or (ref $obj)->new()? (Typically, no. Consequently, on those occassions where I've done this I've got to admit it has been cargo-cult. But now that I'm aware of this, I come to the next question...)
- Even if you don't need this, are you going to permit this anyway? Are you going to allow someone else to do this with your module, and to do this as a direct object method, without calling ref($obj)? (And here, my answer is "Why not -- how could it hurt?")
- If you say 'yes' to either of the above, are you confused by
the name of the method new(), so that you don't know if it clones or not? And my answer is, "No! If I wanted the method to clone, I'd've named it clone() and not new()!"
In short, for me it's a matter of interface preferences, and how strict/permissive I want to be with that. The philosophy of it all only comes down to the simple question of whether it makes sense for new() to ever behave as clone(). To me it doesn't; this may be because I only really learned OO via Perl (and some Java) so I'm not influenced by Smalltalk or other languages.
"Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says, "Give me your best shot. I can take it."