> It seems like most of the time would be spent loading the environment and
> printing the output, making it difficult to compare regexp speeds.

Sure; so why not do it 1000 times:

#!/usr/bin/ruby
1000.times do
   File.open("index.html").each do |c|
     puts $1 if /href="http:\/\/(.*?)\/.*" target="_blank"/ =~ c
   end
end

time ./test.rb >/tmp/t
elap 6.511 user 6.336 syst 0.136 CPU 99.40%


#!/usr/bin/perl
for ($i=0; $i<1000; $i+=1) {
   open HD,"index.html" or die $!;
   while(<HD>) {
     print $1,"\n" if /href="http:\/\/(.*?)\/.*" target="_blank"/;
   }
   close HD;
}

time ./test.pl >/tmp/t
elap 0.864 user 0.844 syst 0.020 CPU 100.04%

So perl is 7 or 8 times faster here.
-- 
Wybo