I'm begining to think that for us Perl is actually more writeable/readable than XML,YAML,JSON,etc.
Agreed. Perl is the default choice. Although I find JSON (and to a lesser degree YAML) fairly easy to read, it's also easy to break when writing, and none of the parsers I tried gave feedback as useful as Perl's. My rule of thumb is that you should try to never use any tool that doesn't tell you which line number the problem is on.
However, I don't have the XML-phobia some people seem to have. It seems fine to me for config data. Verbose, but not that hard to deal with.