"We’re surrounded on all sides, you see. To C programmers, we’re children who can’t handle real complexity. To Smalltalkers and Lispers, we’re misguided souls groping towards a better way, but trapped in the wicked grasp of Sun’s marketing. To Perl and PHP nerds, we’re too busy over-complicating things to ever get anything done. To Ruby and Python hackers, we’re already dinosaurs. And to everyone, we’re apparently the COBOL of the 21st Century." [http://fishbowl.pastiche.org/2004/02/05/the_java_seige_mentality].
I would suggest (and hope) that Java is the assembler of the 21st Century. We know what it does, have confidence that it does it right, but need something more productive for our day job that preserves all our investments.