Personally, I found it much easier to learn Python than Perl. I learned largely by reading existing programs. The bizarre use of punctuation, umpteen ways to write a conditional statement, and shuffling with 'shift' and '$_' are all somewhat offputting. In contrast, python reads like psuedocode in an algorithms textbook.
(I do end up using perl more than python at the moment, though I'd use ruby if that were supported where I worked.)