Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
And the offending line?
I'm running a 5.6.1 version of Perl. That isn't likely change anytime soon, and there are several other people quite happily running 5.6.1 around the world too. So why discriminate unnecessarily? There have been two modules recently, that I thought looked interesting and investigated further, to discover (not unsurprisingly) that there was no need for the line at all. The one author I have contacted so far, was thankfully very friendly. It was his first module, so was quite happy to listen to suggestions. That module has now been uploaded without the 5.8 dependency.
In the reverse, it is quite useful to testers, as well others, that if your module depends on 5.8 features (or depends on another module which depends on 5.8 features), that you include the 'use 5.008' line in your Makefile.PL. It saves a lot of grief and bogus test reports as CPANPLUS doesn't always pick it up if it's just in the module.
I'll try and take a little extra time in future, to see if other 5.8 modules are really 5.8 modules.