Ian, It was gracious of you to analyze and counter oinkoink's article point-by-point, rather than just summing it up as a steaming pile of crap. :-)
Re: one-liners on the command line. I published a little script at the Cookbook site (pyline) that lets you write ad-hoc CLI scripts in Python, suitable for piping. E.g. to print the md5 sum of all .py files in the current directory, you could (use md5sum, or you could) write:
ls *.py | pyline -m md5 "'%s %s' % (md5.new(file(line).read()).hexdigest(), line)"
Prettier than Perl, though not by much. But Python is certainly suitable for CLI use.