Thanks! I think I see how your suggestions are working, and will start playing with them shortly. I'll probably also push my understanding of perlrefs by taking jepri's suggestion to build the data structure by hand in a test script. When I finally threw my hands up and posted last night, I had many pieces of paper with the data stuctures drawn or written on them, but no clue how to create them programatically ;)
He seemed like such a nice guy to his neighbors /
Kept to himself and never bothered them with favors
- Jefferson Airplane, "Assassin"