It will be a make-or-break year for Perl. If the Perl developers cannot either bring new life to Perl 5 or turn Perl 6 into something real, this language will, by the end of the year, have moved well down the road to "legacy" status.
Jonathan Corbet, The Grumpy Editor's guide to 2009 (sorry, no link as the story is for subscribers only for a week)
Setting aside the dubious epistemology which seems to infect all discussions of Perl 6 these days, I'm not particularly worried about the technical part of Perl 6. Rakudo will pass over 20% more tests in Parrot's 0.9.0 release (the 25th stable monthly release of Parrot and the 14th or so stable monthly release of Rakudo in a row). Anyone who doesn't think that Perl 6 actually exists, or who thinks that we can't release stable versions hasn't bothered to do any research. The facts do not support any conclusion other than that Perl 6 exists and continually improves. I can forgive people for not realizing that you've been able to write and run real code in Perl 6 for three and a half years, but if you've missed fourteen releases of a software project, you're really not paying much attention.
I also really like seeing all of the articles and entries about people using Perl 6 to write code, even if it's to solve toy problems. Every bug or question or quirk that ends up reported to the Rakudo queue motivates Patrick and Jonathan and Jerry and Moritz and Stephen and... well, everyone, to add more features and fix more bugs and make this amazing language work better.
That helps with the perception problem. (Part of the problem is also subtle lies of blatantly misleading statistics, but I remain stupidly confident that once in a while, someone will stumble across verifiable facts and realize that some conclusions aren't supportable.)
As for Perl 5... well, I can imagine that people who don't read p5p regularly might wonder if there'll ever be a non-testing version of Perl 5.10 released. You and I both know that Perl 5.10 is stable, but if you go by the description on the CPAN, you might wonder why a testing release has dangled for over a year without any subsequent stable release.
Yes, that's horribly untrue to the facts of the situation, and horribly unfair, and I'm a horrible person for saying it, but if nobody knows the cool stuff you're doing, you might as well be irrelevant. Also, I wrote a fair amount of the Perl 5 core test suite so that we know Perl works, I've patched the Perl 5 parser and lexer twice last year to add new features, and I'm up to my elbows tonight refactoring Parrot's garbage collector. Let me burn all that goodwill: if you think Perl 6 has a perception problem, try Perl 5.
It's very easy to point to twenty five stable monthly releases of Parrot in a row (oh look, an easy to repeat talking point) and it's very easy to say "We release a new stable version of Rakudo on the third Tuesday every month, as we've done every month since November 2007", and it's true. It's very easy to point to Rakudo's big chart of spectest progress, which gets updated daily. By this point, you should even be able to predict with some certainty when the next several stable releases of Parrot will occur without even reading the Parrot Roadmap.
Try that with Perl 5.