Just to totally confuse the ongoing discussion, I'd like to throw in my 
reasons for learning Ruby.

A couple of years ago it became obvious that I needed to learn another 
language.  And, unlike the incredibly intelligent folks on this list, I'm 
merely bright.  While I could probably out-code most of the people on this 
list in assembly language for a dozen different processors, particularly 
when it comes to real-time applications, I'm not very good at learning 
languages (human or computer).  So, having such a limited ability to 
learn, I went to a social email list that I'm on that is heavily populated 
with geeks and asked "Should I learn Java or Python".  Surprisingly 
enough, I didn't get the usual set of answers, "Yes", "No" and "Install 
Linux", instead I was pointed at Ruby.  So, I found a copy of the Pickaxe 
book and here I am.

All in all, I'm very happy with the language.  I think the fact that Matz 
is a native Japanese speaker caused him to think about the language and 
how it interacted with the programmer much differently.  Personally, I 
find Ruby to be much more "poetic" than most computer languages.

-- Matt
Attitude:  The difference between ordeal and adventure