POE is the incumbent. It's been around forever, it has a ton of extension and support modules, and when people are talking about creating a server of any sort, POE inevitably comes up.
I've done a bit of work with POE. I find it to work pretty well, but it does take some getting used to at first. Until recently I'd never heard of AnyEvent. It seems like an interesting dist, but I only have room in my head to know one Event system well. So the question is, is AnyEvent worth learning instead of POE?
But which is the right one to learn? Well, POE is everywhere and learning it is not a bad career move... Even if you eventually move away from it, your experience with it would help you come to grips with another system. AnyEvent, however, describes itself as a event-loop abstractor... allowing any event loop (including POE) under the hood. AnyEvent has a slimmer selection of additional modules, but it does have an advantage in that it relies on very few modules outside itself to get the job done.
So POE wins on CPAN... but AnyEvent seems to win on ease of learning. It seems to be much simpler to learn and use for simple tasks.
That said, based solely on my reading, and the fact that POE has the lion's share of modules on CPAN, I'm inclined to go with POE for any current projects. I think, though, that it's a good idea to keep an eye on AnyEvent - it seems to be on the rise.
Do you disagree? Have you used AnyEvent? What do you think? Got any tips to share for either AnyEvent or POE? Sound off in the comments!