I tried to wrap my brain around Catalyst, spending about a week reading the docs and trying the examples, then about another week doing the same with DBIx::Class. I also visited the Catalyst and DBIx::Class IRC channels, getting some excellent assistance from our own castaway and Matt S. Trout (mst), among others.
Ultimately, I just wasn't able to 'get' how to use Catalyst or DBIx::Class. That's not necessarily a shortcoming of either package or their respective (overlapping) user communities. In fact, I owe those folks a beer or three for all their help.
I've now had a look at REST::Application and set that aside as well -- it looked very nice, but it ties in with Apache 1.3, something I didn't realize until I started trying to get the examples to work. I'm currently using Apache 2.0, and will probably go with Apache 2.2 since I believe the target OS is FC5. I'm now at the point where I'm probably going to use CGI::Application along with Apache's rewrite engine so that REST style URIs are mapped to CGI equivalents -- the REST URLs will get XML, and the normal URLS will get HTML. My prototyping has developed paralell page templates for the two formats, so I'll use one piece of logic to service the request, then present the results in the appropriate format.