I generally agree with you but remember that if you are trying to make the perl script as portable as possible, you will want to avoid using unix commands if you can. Just minor differences between the GNU versions of the tools and unix (solaris,etc) versions can break the script because of slightly different behaviors. Also, cgi scripts where you will want to avoid calling the util progs for both security and performance reasons.
but that's just a 10 sec observation.
Jason L. Froebe
Team Sybase member
No one has seen what you have seen, and until that happens, we're all going to think that you're nuts. - Jack O'Neil, Stargate SG-1