I know this is an old thread, but regarding the statement:
"Over the last umpteen years, Microsoft has introduced precisely zero new languages to the market at a mass level. I actually find this rather surprising, as Microsoft does a ton of research into languages."
I'm not sure how anyone could say that... C# was Microsoft throwing their hat into the new programming langugages arena.. and in a huge way!
That said, I like VB.NET myself. My company uses VFP, so VB.NET is an easy transition. I also like C#.NET, too. Really, once you get past a few idiosyncracies of each language (mainly of C#), there seems to be almost nothing that can be done in C# that can't in VB.NET, or vice versa for that matter. Most of the learning curve is the insanely large/useful .NET framework, which works pretty much the same from any supported language. Moreover, most of the exam certification books that are put out by MS are easily 25-30% thicker than they need to be because MS provides all the code samples in both VB.NET and C#.NET.
MS does like to bill VB.NET as an entry level language, and C++ as a power user language, and C#.NET as a good middle ground. I still feel I can do just about anything I want in either VB or C# .NET; so, as long as they keep making and improving Visual Studio, and I can keep affording it, I'll use both... (insert coin flip here).
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