The above is a question I have been (instinctively?) holding the answer out
to be an emphatic: NO!
I have even been going so far as to state that BASIC is no longer the
appropriate name for this new language, which Microsoft is calling Visual
Basic.Net, preferring instead the shortened acronym Visual ASIC.Net as being
more correct for this new language.

However, David Bayley seems to think the opposite, and the purpose of this
thread is to begin an examination of that question - hopefully from a
reasoned, academic angle.
So, please, do participate, but please try to leave the emotionally-laden
stuff at the door, and any/all personal invectives are expressedly
UN-invited to this conversation.

There, that said, I will begin this discussion with a recap of a thread from
the vb.dotnet.technical newsgroup entitled: "Resource Management in VB.NOT?"

>>>Begin Recap<<<

Kathleen Dollard-Joeris, Bob Butler, Jeff Piel & David Bayley had a
sub-thread on the C# "Using" syntax...
<Bob Butler>
If you are saying that using the proposed construct is only valid if you
have a reference to an object that can safely have the Dispose method called
at the end then it's probably a bad idea. It only handles a subset of the
DF issues but makes it look like DF has been restored and I think that'd be
confusing for a lot of people and lead to a great deal of misuse. If DF can
not be provided in a fully consistent manner then I don't think the language
should attempt it at all.
</Bob Butler>
<Me>
BINGO!!
That is precisely why I despise the dispose() pattern. It is half-assed and
half-baked.
In classic VB we USED to be able to rely on the refcounting semantics under
the hood to do a 100% good job - up to the point where we got fancy enough
in our code to bring circular reference problems into the mix.

This is simply no longer the case, and therefore the enitre resource
management topic/problem are much more important and significant to
lower-level VB coders than ever before. This represents a loss to the VB
world, not a gain.
</Me>
<Patrick Steele>
It's all relative.
One man's garbage (sorry for the pun!) is another man's treasure...
</Patrick Steele>
<Me>
....Not for the newbies it isn't!
Let me ask you this: Which language, VB6 or VB.Net (I'm artificially
limiting your choices to just those for discussion purposes, and for these
discussion purposes, assume that this question occurs 2 weeks after FCS of
the VS.Net - and all the "It's Beta" objections are gone), would you rather
put a newbie programmer in front of with an initial small-scale DB
application assignment on his/her first week of the job? You and they both
will be graded on speed of completion and the performance/stability of the
application produced, but THEY will have to do all the work, not you....?

</Me>
<David Bayley>
VB.NET of course. It is *SOOOOO* much more consistent and easier to learn
for the newbie.
That's what people are complaining about!!! They cleaned VB out and made it
superb for the newbie, but backwards-compatibility was thrown out the
window. Honestly, I started listing all the benefits but just snipped it
all, since the list just went on, and on, and on, and on.
</David Bayley>
<snipped Me>
<David Bayley again>
....the arguments for VB.NET were lots of small things that
individually didn't amount to much, but put it all together...
Essentially I felt myself having to justify every little change that has
been made in VB.NET (putting backwards-compatibility aside of course). I
think it will make a refreshing discussion, and the instinctive reaction of
a well tuned VB'er is to view VB.NET as "more complicated"...
</David Bayley>
>>>End Recap<<<


....which pretty much brings us current, save for a parting "Visual ASIC it
ain't!" shot David fired at me.<g>

Ok, David, Here's the floor, let's see that list of what makes VB.Net
"*SOOOOO* much more consistent and easier to learn for the newbie." than VB6
is...