Some people say that Perl (at least versiosn 1 Perl 5) is a cleaned up dialect of the language called Unix. Certainly that's how I develop. Unix is my IDE, and I use Unix tools as much as possible.
You can see the schism between Unix developers and everyone else in the Perl world. Cygwin doesn't get as much attention and testing and bugfixing as it deserves. Dealing with shared libraries and installation on Windows and Mac OS X often requires special skills and knowledge and dedication that isn't always available or obvious or interesting to those of us for whom Unix and the free Unix-alikes just work.
For maximum fun and frustration, install Strawberry Perl on a friend's computer, then tell them they're going to learn how to program. Try to explain that your preferred approach mixes several terminal windows with GNU Screen and copious command-line utilities, then try to get them past the "Hello, world!" stage. (The real point of that exercise is to teach you how to write, save, compile, link, and run programs. Skip any step not necessary in your language.)
Certainly the bundling of Padre helps, but the mindset of the Unix hacker runs deeply through Perl culture. This is not a bad thing; it's the source of much goodness in the language and its ecosystem. Yet you can't be a productive Perl hacker unless you know that it's there.
perldoc. A very naïve count of words in
pod/ in bleadperl today suggests that the core Perl 5.13.0
distribution contains 740,000 words of documentation. Take out the deltas
between releases and you still have 576,000 words of documentation. That's
almost six novels worth of books, unless you're a prolific fantasy author, in
which case that's the filler in your bookshelf-destroying series. That's only
the core documentation. That doesn't count the documentation of the core libraries.
If you want to be a good Perl developer, you have to know that it exists and how to use it.
perldoc perltoc lists and describes all of the documents in the core documentation. Type the name of any of the files listed as the argument to
perldoc to learn more.
perldoc perlfunc describes Perl's built-in functions, like
chomp. If you don't remember the name of a function, you can skim through this file (especially its listings of functions by category) to find it. Most adept Perl programmers use
perldoc -f funcname, however. I can't remember the order of return values from
caller, so I type
perldoc -f caller and skim the example code.
Get used to referring to the documentation. That's how good programmers work.
If you're not sure what you need to look up, but think you know how to describe it,
perldoc -q keyword searches the Perl FAQ for the appropriate question. I use this less than
perldoc -f, but I don't ask many of those questions about Perl.
Any module worth using has documentation. Type
perldoc Module::Name to read its documentation.
There's plenty more documentation to read, such as
perldoc perlsyn, which explains the language's syntax or
perldoc perlop which describes operators. Even so, if you only know the
-q flags and the existence of
perldoc perltoc, you're well on your way to understanding Perl.