Ruby is *not* basically Perl, I've used both for quite a while now. Ruby's concepts are much easier to comprehend and use in everyday coding.
That's a matter of opinion. I personally find Perl to be a better (more expressive) language for most tasks. Mostly I use Ruby (JRuby, specifically) when I have to write code that will run in a JVM, otherwise I default to Perl. RubyGems is nice, but it's still (at least) a decade behind CPAN. I'll grant you that Perl's learning curve is steeper than Ruby's, but I'll maintain that it's worth the effort.
Classes are not some weird afterthought that feels like it's falling apart every second now, they are first class members.
I'll give you that one for classic Perl OO. OTOH, Moose solves most of those complaints. Moose is basically a backport of Perl6's OO system, which is heavily influenced by Ruby's. This gives you pretty much everything you need to do serious OOP without having to drink the everything-is-an-object kool-aid.
The Perl interpreter is way quicker, which is nice,
Even nicer is the ability to use other (faster) languages inline once you've identified hotspots in your code through profiling. I am not aware of anything in Ruby that can compare to the simple elegance of Inline::C for this purpose.
there's sooo much unnecessary syntactic explicitness compared to Ruby.
Huh? Examples, please. "Syntactic explicitness" is NOT a complaint that's levied against Perl often.