@Bass: Which just goes to show that even the greatest minds can be wrong sometimes.
(I first learned to program in GW-BASIC)
No, I totally agree with him. But he was talking about unstructured BASIC - not Visual Basic.
When one of the biggest minds in computer science calls teaching a language a criminal offense - that language will be fucked for life. The fact that any Basic still exists is a testament to Microsoft's power over the computer industry. They can outrule Dijkstra FFS.
VB.NET is a structured and OO language that is just as powerful as C#. No doubt about that. But the stigmata of this quote will haunt it forever. Virtually all Visual Basic hate comes from that single quote.
Add in the fact that even Microsoft these days are treating it like a second class language - I wouldn't touch with a 5 foot pole when a language like C# already exists.