Some of the threads started here have said, "What's wrong with Perl?" There is nothing inherently wrong with Perl, it is still a fine language, if a bit awkward. Compared to other languages, it does feel quite ugly. I've always had a soft spot for Perl, as it was the language I used to make my first web site. I've been moving some legacy code away from Perl, and standardizing more of the organization than just my department into Python / Django. Python has a lot going for it in a lot of settings, and since we're in academia, it makes sense.
We're in Philadelphia, and something I've lamented is there's never been an active local Perl group. Just about every other highly-used language does (as in, the top 10 of the Tiobe Programming Index). PhillyPUG (Python), Philly.rb (Ruby), PyStar Philly (a women's Python learning group), PhillyDB... the list goes on and on.
Python is also the most consistently readable language I've used, and that goes beyond the forced indentation.
YMMV of course, but the major thing for me was having supportive, local communities supporting the language.