This is just silly. First of all, asking this question on a Perl message board is bound to get you a bunch of Perl-biased answers (like this one). Second, there's no one answer to your question: Which of the two should I use as a backend for web applications? It all depends on the needs of your project. I would opt for Perl, because I find it to be a lot more powerful than PHP - but you knew I was going to say that.
Also, I don't know why you'd feel horror and dismay simply because someone expressed an opinion about Perl. Perl is not dead, as the activity on this board will attest. And what do you need from Perl6 that you can't do in Perl5? Your implication seems to be that because Perl6 hasn't been released yet, your friend must be correct about the death of Perl. Consider looking at what Perl has to offer right now. Furthermore, there's been plenty of progress on Perl6. Check the Perl6 weekly mailing list summaries over at perl.com and see for yourself.
Are you sure it was a book? Are you sure it wasn't.....nothing?