I have an almost diametrically opposed experience. I have good Perl skills, and 8+ years experience, and can't get Perl work in Sydney Australia, primarily due to the fact that recruiters looking for Perl devs here don't know anything about Perl tech.
The few Perl dev jobs I've interviewed for and taken have relied on unbelievably basic programming tests.
Yes, recruiting basically sucks for Perl, and probably programming in general. The only way I have ever successfully found people to work with is through pre-existing relationships. (In the case of my current job, Perl Mongers; in the case of past jobs, people I know on irc.)
You also mention location specificity -- this hurts employees and employers. Employees don't want to relocate, and employers don't want the communication barrier that telecommuting raises. (And FWIW, having telecommuted at an all-telecommute company... it kind of sucks on both ends.)