I want to have some work done on the Network front, pinging numerous computers on a LAN and retrieving data about the response time. Which would be the most useful and productive to work with: Perl or Python?
I agree that it is pretty subjective which programming language you use - essentially I would rather get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible which making it supportable - so that depends on your infrastructure...
Can I suggest that you look at Nagios rather than re-inventing the wheel yourself?
While Nagios might require a greater learning curve in terms of configuration, it will be worth it in the long run, and if you can't find a plugin to suit your requirements, then it is easy to write your own. Joel Spolsky has written an interesting article on this.