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?
1999 or thereabouts I discovered Emacs. RtL Emacs Elisp took me to elisp, elisp took me to scheme, scheme took me to common lisp. Common Lisp has taken me everywhere.
What led you to try Lisp?
Basically I was a college student with lots of free time, no money and a general interest in everything software related. I ended up sitting in front of a computer surfing the internet looking for "cool stuff". Along the way I found, among other things, Common Lisp.
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?
I didn't realize that I kept looking at new programming languages because I didn't like what I had found so far.
What do you think of Lisp so far?
Macros rock. They allow me to mold the language into exactly what I need it to look like in order to express what I have to say concisely and precisely.
MOP is very very cool, I don't really love it's openness (ie I'm a bondage 'n discipline guy when it comes to Object Oriented), but the flexibility more than makes up for this.
It's almost freightening but it seems that whenever I look up a function in the spec it always does exactly what I need. I mean look at PSETF, or READ-FROM-STRING's second return value, how cool is that?
Which brings me to what I think is Common Lisp's strongest point: It is the result of years upon years of use. Instead of throwing out the old lanugage and always starting anew lisp is able to adapt itself to the new things we learn, this means that we can incrementally correct the bad things wihtout losing the good things. (something about a baby and some bath water comes to mind).