Before Solaris 8, your perl options were pretty straightforward. You downloaded the perl source code, compiled it, and that was your perl distribution.
Then Sun added perl to Solaris 8, but it was still a mixed blessing. If you didn’t have the Sun Forte C compiler, you wouldn’t be able to easily install modules with bundled C code. You could download gcc, but the Config.pm module wouldn’t recognise it as the compiler that built the perl distribution.
Your options were to modify Config.pm, or just compile your own distribution. I think more people opted for the later decision as the Solaris release of Perl was a couple of versions behind.
Now in Solaris 10, you have a few more options.
1. Perlgcc. The perl 5.8.4 distribution comes with a program called perlgcc, which runs perl under a modified Config.pm module. It will believe it was originally compiled with gcc, so you don’t have to make any modifications yourself.
2. Sun Studio 10 Compiler. You can download the Sun Studio Compiler, and use that for the compilation.
Both methods work pretty well. I ran a few test builds of module distributions with no problems.
My bigger relief is that Sun is showing a better commitment to Perl now than in the past. Their default apache2 distribution actually comes with mod_perl installed, which is a nice touch.