Just to keep it in perspective, the ::Database plugin has always been somewhat of an example of "this is how you initialize a DB connection" and doesn't really do much of anything beyond that. It's not smart, but it tends to work - mostly :)
The problem with "MySQL server has gone away" is NOT handled properly. So, I have to take about any problem with the Database-Connection myself when being in a productive environment. No mention about this in the documentation.