The fact that it has no dependencies makes it even more compelling.It's the sort of thing one could more easily attract new developers with. Can you imagine rewriting my old CGI course with something like this? Or maybe a way to introduce new users to Perl? There are many excellent Perl frameworks out there which I would, nonetheless, hesitate to start new users on. Just trying to set up CPAN can be difficult for them; working through even one test failure is often too much. For people who want to jump in and learn "Web programming", though, this might work.
On the other hand Jay advices to stop worrying about dependencies The lie of independence - or - how I learned to stop worrying and love the dependency chain. There is truth in both statements. I have the impression that the problem of CPAN dependencies have improved much recently. The visibility of installation problems directly from the cpan search engine (cpan testers matrix, dependencies review) is a great step ahead. But still installing Catalyst and DBIC and TT is a big hurdle - and I can understand why Ovid is not enthusiastic about teaching Perl novices how to do that.
For me Mojo sounds like iPod - slick and beautiful and really useful - but you are not supposed to change the battery. It is a nicely integrated product - but somehow closed. The author apparently tries to make it perfect, tries to polish every detail - what perhaps would not be possible if he had to compromise with the visions of the authors of the other packages. I can feel his frustration here. But rejecting all dependencies and rewriting everything in his own way sounds a bit extreme and not welcoming.
The big question here is how much can we trust fellow CPAN authors to make the right decisions, can we rely on their work? Can someone, who put's a lot of attention for the details of his API, rely on modules with imperfect APIs, perhaps spoiling his own work and not become insane? The story of the phalanx project shows that there are no easy answers to these questions, but I believe we can do better than rewriting everything from scratch each time.