Vote with your money and find a hosting company that satisfies your needs.
Alas, often the developer will not have the luxury of this decision.
There are a bunch of optimisations that can be made even if mod_perl is not an option; here are some ideas off the top of my head:
- Streamline the design of your pages to be lightweight by relying on web standards and the bare minimum of images.
- Consider the architecture of your application to eliminate redundant database connections, repetitive processing etc.
- Think about generating static .html pages that are looked for first instead of dynamically outputting content on every request.
mod_perl rules and I am not suggesting for a minute that there is an equivalent substitute but you should view your situation as an opportunity to learn about tweaking the best performance out of the resources you have.
Update: amended `in the event that' to `even if' in my second paragraph following Abigail's (quite true) observation that my comments apply in the event that you do have mod_perl also.