|But I'd argue the best language to learn would be the ones that didn't let you get away with stupid mistakes. Otherwise, you'll never learn.|
Not necessarily so. You can learn by your mistakes which is probably the best way to learn. I have been using VB for a some years, I was looking at some source code for something I wrote fifteen years ago and wondered what the hell I was thinking of when I did that. On Error Goto can mask a multitude of sins. I have learnt a bit since then but at least it did the job.
But then, it all depends on your objectives. Write a programme that complies with all the rules of programming or to write a programme that achieves a particular objective in the shortest time possible. In a lot of circumstances time is of the essence.