You can do anything you want in python, except the incredibly simple things like parsing URLs. And the last time I tried to use the python postgresql interface, it was popen()ing psql behind the scenes. I would say that python's standard library has about 50% of the coverage of CPAN and roughly 10% of the maturity. If you want to get something done you can get it done quickly and easily in perl. If you want to gaze at the beauty of your code, python is a far better choice.