ESR had an interesting perl and python story: http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3882
(I just see where I probably came across that first: http://www.python.org/doc/intros/
The history of perl and python is a bit interesting and it shows
through. Python syntax and features were very deliberately designed and made clean. And I think that works and does make it immediately easier. Perl evolved.
I see many similarities with perl and python. Especially in that they are easily extendable with libraries and the communities in both cases have built up a large set of useful software.
[ ... "Was it all an accident?" ... "Well, kinda sorta." ... ]
warning: severe paraphrasing, but ...
I do perl best. But it suits what I use it for. Sys-admin scripts at home, web backend, software test & dev, any other kind of messing.
I don't have that much experience with python,
I have played with it a little.
To me it looks like python is quite popular among the scientific community. Numeric package for Mathematics seems to be a requirement of some interesting applications.
So like the others say, it depends what you want to do.
A big advantage to either language is the ability to use others work and build on it. And in different areas one language is used more than the other.