When did you first try Lisp (meaning here and throughout the survey "any member of the Lisp family") seriously, and which Lisp family member was it?
It was during my most recent yearly learn-something-new phase (Switch Date 2002) that I went after the "profound enlightenment" promise. Shortly after, I began using it for hobby projects and after a few months at work, too. It was Common Lisp.
What led you to try Lisp?
Many small things. Becoming less enchanted with statically typed languages, reading RtL Douglas Hofstadter, having decided it is worth it to learn Emacs and RtL Emacs Elisp, loving RtL AI, knowing about RtL Greenspun's Tenth, a colleague of mine sending me links to CLOS texts and RtL Paul Graham articles, my habit of saying "Lisp Interpreter" instead of "Turing Machine" when emphasizing the practical side of things, Eric Raymond's How to Become a Hacker, learning about Python, implementing CLOS-like generic functions in a language that didn't have it. It all came together, finally.
If you were trying Lisp out of unhappiness with another language, what was that other language and what did you not like about it, or what were you hoping to find different in Lisp?
Yes, partly. It was Java. Its rigidity, the lack of templates, its resistance to elegant solutions and generally the boredom it causes.
How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp?
I get the concepts and try to put them into use. But old habits die hard and Common Lisp is not easy to master.
What do you think of Lisp so far?
I like its elegance and power, the functional touch, macros, the various times (read, compile, ...), CLOS. But the best thing is the confidence it gives in that it can absorb a large amount of change.