Todays unicode problems are with JSON::XS. We are using JSON extensively in the project I am working on and we have a lot of unicode strings. JSON::XS really is the best and fastest perl JSON parser (I've tried them all) and Marc Lehmann who wrote JSON::XS is very knowledgeable and usually quick to respond to any query.
I have released 1.19 of DBD::ODBC to CPAN.
You can find a list of changes here.