I just watched some very interesting videos about a new language that is called clojure. It is a lisp dialect that compiles to java byte code. So it has one of the best optimzed (if not the most optimzed) virtual machines around these days. It supports transactional memory that makes concurrent programming less a hussle. The code is compiled to java and has transparent access to existing java code. That opens the whole universe of available java support libraries at no cost. The amount of libraries available for java is propably the biggest benefit of using java.The only drawback I saw so far is the lack of something like an IDE. The only support seems to be in emacs. Bad luck, I grew up to be a vi user.