All languages have their place in development! A good designer knows that to design the best possible service for his or her client will always include the use of multi scripting services that must work in harmony with one another!
As for trying to compare Perl to PHP, you can not, they are designed with (2) different objectives in mind! Perl is the thinking language, anything you can think of creating that closely will give you the raw power of C is waiting for you! Perl also does not fill the scope of it design with all the pre-made functions that are included PHP, but it gives you the power to create any function you wish, with more control than maybe using a PHP built in function!
If you know Perl and PHP, you can make a decision on what you believe is better, but to judge one with no knowledge or limited knowledge of the other will make you judgement very basis! PHP is still very young in it development, but it has awesome support and a very good core development team, that is making vast improvement in it development! So, PHP will one day earn it’s place in the real high end development markets over time! On the other hand, Perl is known for getting the job done, it’s core runs the biggest database in the world, and is used everywhere you look, from high end resource intense web environments! From Microsoft to Yahoo and Google to Chase and everywhere in between, Perl will be found, not because it is better than PHP, but because it has proven it’s self to be the king of reliability, while always getting the job done!
Core language tools should be the main reasons for using one language over another and nothing more! If you understand scalars and how are cast, and how the language stores variables you will understand why I wrote that last sentence!
One thing I do notice! When teaching at Perl workshops, the average developer uses much more time thinking about the logic before attempting to even begin the design process! While at PHP workshops I teach at, there is more requests for ‘Show me how’ instead of ‘teach me how’, one may say they are the same thing, but they are not!
So in closing, if your better at PHP, then use that for designing your DB project or if your Perl is better then use that! Because both will give about the same in performance results.