I'm all in favor of chromatic's suggestion to dump most of the core Perl modules. But I think he left out what might be the most important (and most controversial?) part of such a plan: providing a proper guide to CPAN.
In a previous post I complained about the difficulty of figuring out what MP3 tagging module to use. CPAN is great at providing alternatives, but not terribly good at providing a way to evaluate the pros and cons of those alternatives.
Now, with something like MP3 tagging that is just an inconvenience. But if it happened to core modules, it would be a disaster for Perl. The best thing about the core modules is you know they are a standard. If you want to do, say, standard file handling, you us IO::File, simply because it is there. But if it's not there, and you're a beginning searching CPAN, you'll be confronted with dozens of modules that sound like they might do the right thing. It's an utter nightmare for the poor beginner who just wants to get his twenty line script running.
It seems to me the answer is a guide to CPAN, something that points out what you should probably use and what you should avoid at all costs. Maybe it should be a web page, or a wiki, or just a standard module package that everyone should install. But something is needed, and it will have to be opinionated to be useful.
PS It is especially needed because you've got to think people will start re-evaluating those basic modules in light of the past ten years' changes to Perl (and the even greater ones coming chromatic envisions). Moose::IO::File anyone?