Well, yes, perl attracts beginner programmers. (Let's put aside for the moment whether python, originally designed as a first language for newbies, does the same.) But that's not what I'm talking about, which is why *I already said* that IME, expert code is also uglier on average in perl than, say, python.
My claim is simply this: in perl the path of least resistance is ugly code. That doesn't contradict your point: if your strength of will never falters then you can resist this and indeed, produce uniformly beautiful code - we agree. But, contrary to geek standard philosophy, real humans are not perfect rational agents. I have my moments of weakness. I suspect you do too. Can you really say you never succumb to temptation against your better judgement? Humans are messy critters, and ignoring that feels good but it doesn't actually help; we do better to admit it, study it, and design our systems to support our strengths while de-emphasizing our weaknesses.