I've learned php and c++, i will list the things i liked and didn't liked on each of them, how i decided to learn them in the first place and why i feel the need to learn a decent alternative to c++, i'm not a professional programmer and only do projects for myself.
PHP - Decided to learn because i wanted to build a dynamic website, that i did and turned out very good, i even coded a 'not so basic' search engine for it that would display the results 'google style' and really fast, pretty cool stuff.
PROS - Pretty consistent syntax for all stuff (minor caveats), great functionality, a joy for me to code in it (it seems to 'know' what i want it to do and just does it)
CONS - Painfully slow for number crunching (which takes me to c++ that i only learned because i wanted to do some number crunching and it had to be screaming fast)
C++ - Learned because number crunching was so slow in php and manipulating large amounts of data was very difficult, i thought, it's popular programming language and all, and tests show that it's fast, the basic stuff resemble php so it shouldn't be hard to pick up
PROS - It can be used to virtually anything, very very fast
CONS - Although fun to code at the start, if i need to do something out of the ordinary, memory allocation routines, pointer stuff, stack sizes etc... will get me tired really quick, syntax is a bit inconsistent some times (more caveats)
I guess that from what i wrote you guys will understand what i'm looking for, there are thousands of languages out there, it's likely that one of them will suit my needs, i've been seeing stuff today and a friend of mine that is a professional programmer tried OCaml and Fortran and said that both are fast for numerical stuff, i've been inclined to test Fortran, but i need some more input because i want to have some other good 'candidates' to choose from, for example the python syntax seemed great to me, but then i found out from some tests that it was a lot slower than c++ and i simply don't want to twiddle my thumbs all day.