To my great joy, the "Chocolate Perl" concept I defined so long ago has finally started to crystalise. Curtis Jewell's blog details the specifics.
Having switched over to the new Alpha, clearly there's work yet to do.
I've applied a few fixes to my Perl::Shell to support proper exception handling, wxCPANPLUS crashes on startup, and the Tk-based POD browser is hellishly slow to turn on the documentation tree control.
We've also reached the point where the start menu is straining to breaking point, so it appears we'll need to do some sub-dividing to make that a bit more usable.
But on the whole, it's really starting to feel like what I'd imagined it to be.
You can see a future echo of something that we could hand to a first time Windows Perl newbie and expect them to actually get something done.
Now we just need to polish like hell so it doesn't just work, but works competently.