True there is an awful lot of COBOL about and lots of people
are using it in the way that you say. However
fact that it is widespread does not
mean that it is
still widespread through choice, it just means that it has
been very popular in the past.
Think about how much money has been spent in the last five
years making sure that legacy systems written in COBOL could
handle the year 2000. OK, got that mental picture? now
imagine how many magnitudes greater the task of rewriting
all! of that code in a more modern language would be.
I have a friend who works for British Telecom on their
billing software. The legacy stuff is all COBOL, but
anything they write now is done in c. If COBOL was so
wonderful more projects being written now would be
written in COBOL.