Perl may be more powerful (I myself wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole) but bash and Perl are both still imperative programming languages.
I prefer Newlisp myself for most tasks as it can natively access system calls including , Java graphics, interface natively with MtSQL and SQLite and also with most other databases via ODBC, and and with C/C++ libraries in addition to modifying itself on the fly as all good interpreters can do. Supports regexprs too. Perl sucks balls in comparison. Its very handy for HTML and XML since they are just S-expressions when you get right down to it. It has built in httpd too.
Get hip and use Newlisp for any server side task imaginable.