Yup ... but you don't want my opinion ;D It's basically the same as previous versions of VB, with a few lil statements changed. Also, it's more object oriented, if that's even possible. For just about every single command, you have to specify the exact object/object property you are talking about. (This makes no sense until you've tried it for yourself!)
Can you make out calls to Perl or any other language? Let's say you're writing a handler for something, and you wanted to include something written in Perl, could you do that? I really need to try out VS.net. =)
I think I am the best one here to talk about VB .NET. At first I truly hated it, and basically didn't want to look at it. Everything had changed (well, most things) and it took a lot of getting used to. Now that I got a book, and I've developed some Win apps, and a few ASP.Net apps, and i totally love it. VB .NET gives you more control over everything, and I mean everything. I haven't totally mastered it all, but I love the posibilites with database development, etc. And the best thing, I think, is that there are so many features in the .Net framework that you don't need to add any 3rd party controls, thus getting rid of the dreaded 'dll hell'.
As far as your pearl issue, I am not sure at all if it does that.
Hope my 2 cents helped.
Thanks for the feedback. You're getting me thirsty for a nice refreshing glass of VB.Net. Been meaning to read up on the whole .Net architecture but just haven't gotten to it. I've been kind of curious how ASP.Net has changed because I used to do some development in that a while back, and now I'm sort of missing it. :'( For now I guess, I'll just stick with VB6. ;)