> 1. Which one do you like the most and why?
Perl is FREE. Perl skills are more resellable in the marketplace, than just closed solutions. Having Perl skills can lead to higher paid jobs.
Perl has good integration with Windows. I can create test configuration GUIs in Win32, MFC, or Tk from Perl. There are other tools like SOAP, SMTP, LDAP, IMAP, DBI, MIME, XML-RPC, etc. that can be integrated into the test case providing test scripts with a lot of power. And the best is OLE Automation, which seems rather intuitive in Windows.
There's an excellent IDE development environment with Komodo. Gotta love that product. There's also VisualPerl for integration of Perl IDE into VisualStudio environment, which can include check-in systems like VisualSourceSafe or Rational Clearcase.
> 2. Which is easier to use?
Perl has a learning curve, but once you get into it is easy. So, there's probaly a small learning curve for WinRunner in the beginning, the the payoff (time vs results) is bigger in Perl.
> 3. Do the apps you are testing have any custom compenents (for
> example, the way StingRay creates components), if so, how do they
> handle it?
I don't have this issue. You can use relative coordinates and click there.
> 4. Do you do any manual testing and how well do they handle that?
Most of QA is manual testing, but we are working on to automate everything. In the current setting, the automation just entails automation of repetitive and tedious tasks, like creating 1000 Outlook calendar events. However, the long term is to use a test harness like DejaGNU, which can be found with the CygWin environment. I want to add a XML-RPC and SOAP plug-in so that tests can be executed remotely.