This having a website to tinker with thing is kinda neat. Right now, I'm growing a nasty beasty using SSI and perl CGIs, just because it was quick and seemed like a good idea at the time. Obviously, now that I'm starting to get more than 2 visitors per hour, the SSI/CGI mix starts to slow things down. I do try a few smart-ish things, like making the CGIs do heavy lifting only once or twice per hour (at most) while spitting out cached results the rest of the time. But, there's still the overhead of external perl process launch.
So, I'm toying around with the idea of using Mason, whose design and purpose I seem to finally get, or learning PHP, whose design and purpose I dislike as much as ASP and JSP but whose simple utility I get now. Nice thing is, my web host has both PHP and mod_perl installed for me, and I can toy with either or both. There are other things I might play with learning as well. These are all things that pretty much everyone has already gone through, but it's fun to grow a site by tinkering and see things pop up.
I've been making and optimizing the same sorts of sites and applications for so long that I've started falling out of the loop on technologies not quite applicable to what I've been devoted to. This site of mine is proving to be a fun laboratory, complete with bunsen burners, Jacob's ladders, and those little curly tubes running between beakers.shortname=oooaac