I am looking for a cli (command line interface) program that would basically tail either 1 log or a set of logs in /var/log and on the fly output in a more friendly manner. Perl would be best but isn't a prerequisite.
If your system has
It's not necessary to use
There are other better solutions, but if you find yourself in a bind sometimes this kind of thing will help.
As for "output in a more friendly manner", that's very subjective, and also individual for each app. There are log viewers for many popular servers, e.g. AWStats. Just see if it does what you need. What exactly do you want to check?
Finally, instead of watching logs, for long-term server maintenance a monitoring software probably makes more sense. Check out e.g. Nagios or ZenOSS.