|Keep It Simple, Stupid
I apologize for not being to provide you with numbers, for I cannot locate the article I had in mind when I originally responded. VC far and above outsells even the closest competitor.
dws was kind enough to /msg me privately with similar thoughts, however, I ask you the same question I did him: how many Fortune 1000 companies do you know of that've standardized on gcc, as compared to the number that've standardized on VC?
As stupid as that sounds, (free vs. howevermuch Microsoft wants to charge you today), the point remains that MS is the best selling C++ compiler on the market. I'm not any more fond of that than you are, however, look at the numbers.
I think the one point you're not taking into account is that the people you hang out with know what they're doing. Many of the rest of us deal with PHB's, Mordac, and the rest of the Dilbertian personalities on a regular basis.
And, if you'll forgive me, this is something that many of you (collectively, not individually) fail to take into account. Open source may be the best thing since sliced bread, Unix may be a superior OS, and M$ make suck as hard as you wish to say in public. But, until you'll able to accept the fact that Windows is a reality and that openly accepting Windows developers is one of your best opportunities for expanding the useage of Perl, then you'll continue to be marginalized like Ralph Nader, who by refusing to endorse the candidate closest to him ensured the election of the one farthest from his view point.
If you truly want what is best for Perl, the community, and the people that want to use it, you will accept those with Windows blood in their veins and minimize your harping on their choice of careers or lack of "true faith," for denying them will only drive them to ASP, PHP or other technologies.
Dont' get me wrong; gcc is great, but...VC has more books on the shelves.