Some of us like bash as a programming language too.
(comments below apply to python as well, I think).
You can't use perl in many environments, either because it isn't available, or because you're not allowed to replace an ancient and buggy module; perl has a hugely higher startup overhead than bash does; you can't sanely use perl scripts at system startup time; one-liners at the shell prompt tend to grow into scripts, and (at least for me) those one-liners are, well, bash scripting...
Yes, there is a reason to improve bash as a programming language. :)
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