Here are some links to info about Awk, as one of the pages states Perl can doo 100 times what awk can, however awk is on standard unix systems where perl may not be.
I used awk to make some custom adds to the SSL cert check script which I blogged about.
CLI Magic: Learn to talk awk
awk(1) - Linux man page
Awk Introduction - Explained by examples rather than by definitons
Getting started with awk