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I'd argue that CPAN accounts for quite a bit of "network effect", never mind that there's still a considerable amount of googleable "I have this error, let's see if someone else had it before me" type of dicussions out there. Certainly more than some hip, yet newer languages (e.g. Haskell, Go). So you're not really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

I think the YP people weren't just going for some senior developers, they wanted a huge pool, probably with easy enough replacement if someone is going. Considering that not everyone wants to have a porn site on their CV, or might want to quit once they start a family and would have to explain where daddy/mommy works, that seems like a good idea anyway. So you need the largest pool possible, which generally boils down to either PHP or Java, with the latter being a bit more expensive.

Perhaps surprisingly, while it's technically true that Haskell is a newer language than Perl, the difference is only three years - Perl dates from 1987 and Haskell dates from 1990. I wouldn't put it in the same bucket as Go, which dates from 2009.

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