I am back hacking C++ (migrated from Ruby) due to efficiency reasons. The language has changed fundamentally in the last few years (while I was fundamentally hacking Java and MSWord). STL has established as a fast standard library. The community seems lo be geared towards metaprogramming with heavy use of templates. I have ordered a copy of "Modern C++ Design" by Alexandrescu which seems to be the new "reference book" on C++ style. I have been testing some of the Boost libraries, such as lambda, that gives C++ a functional style, but at the moment I think it is abusing the language.
I am decided to learn Ocaml, because the language seems to provide a good mix of programmability and efficiency.