I think we have different ideas of what "hype" means. :) I resisted going to libxml for a long time and I wish someone had told me several years ago how much more productive it would make me if I'd just break down and learn its interface. My enthusiasm for the kit it not hype. It's enthusiasm for the kit.
I think Twig is nice too, so nothing against it, but XML::Simple and similar packages floating about are a dead end hidden by several blind corners and only the most trivial, static or non-production, cases should go there. The knowledge and skill gained from wrangling it is largely wasted as it transfers nowhere other than drafting for spaghetti factories.
Update: Oh, I neglected to consider XML::Rules, etc, which is where I think we have a disconnect since I believe you wrote it. I haven't had a chance to use it and have no opinion. I certainly wasn't comparing it to XML::Simple above. It might be great and certainly worth looking at for the OP if starting from scratch on a particular problem.