I've been a Perl Monk for a year now, just a few days longer than I've been programming in Perl.
Before that I did use perl for some scripting tasks, where I might have as easily used sed or awk (not that I knew those better); but, one day my new boss told me he wanted me to re-write some VB programs and install the new versions on 15 workstations. That afternoon I wrote a CGI script in perl. It was an awful thing, but aside from eventually crashing the server and freezing the network it did just what I wanted, replacing 15 separate programs with one. I was hooked, but needed help; so, I signed up here.
This site has provided benefits in real and calculable terms. I learn or rehearse something useful every day. I can prove to my employer, if I were ever called upon, how greatly he has profited from the time I've 'wasted' here. PM is my programming education: a million page interactive appendix to the books, and a help desk for my daily questions.
So, having let pass the anniversary of my first post on Dec 21 of last year, one year and a month since I tried to put my head down to study Perl, I feel the need to acknowledge my debt before this year is out.
I've got a long way to go, but you've set me well on my way toward learning how to wield the machine, to support my family with it, and to have fun doing it.