I don't buy Perl not being able to use references for it's data ...
You obviously do not appreciate the problems involved.
... since it's done in real threading applications just fine.
What do you call "real threading"? Are you thinking of Kernel threads in C or User threads in say Java?
Each of these forms of threading have their own set of demands and limitations. In addition, chosing to use either language to benefit from that flavour of threading imposes the disadvantages that language imposes upon the rest of your application.
My idea wants the ability to share data across threads while maintaining somewhat of a speed benefit from multiple children.
Please describe your application in some detail. Ithreads can be used to accomadate many uses, but it does require that you understand both their advantages and limitations.