Today, like everyone else, they are overly complex and more importantly provide no better return on development dollar spent. It's my opinion that Microsoft has allowed an inbalance between the practical and the academic. Now where's my tin foil hat...
After I finish in academia, I'm planning on spending a few months of my newfound freedom to create a 100% VB6-compatible language add-in for Visual Studio.
....then sell it back to Microsoft
The funny thing is, unless you use Declare Lib to do funny stuff with Win32, it should be possible to use WPF as a UI layer for VB6.