On a tip from autrijus I took a look at psh again (perl shell). Last time I looked it didn't catch my fancy...but my how things have changed. The full power of a familiar shell, (cmd line completion etc) plus all the power of Perl at your fingertips. I feel like psh is going to make the amount of one off programs that are scattered all over the file system rapidly diminish.
Just as an example, I wanted to look at the comments inside some image files I had.
% use Image::Magick;
% $i = Image::Magick->new();
% forfiles *.jpg ( $i->read( $_ ); print $i->get( 'Comment' ),"\n"; }
That's all from the command line, and this is just the tip of the iceberg! psh is the most fun I've had in Perl for a while.