Over on SO I came across a question regarding which platform, Java or Python is best for developing on Google AppEngine. Many people were boasting of the increased productivity gained from using Python over Java. One thing I would say about the Python vs Java productivity argument, is Java has excellent IDE's to speed up development where as Python is really lacking in this area because of its dynamic nature.
So even though I prefer to use Python as a language, I don't believe it gives quite the productivity boost compared to Java especially when using a new framework. Obviously if it were Java vs Python and the only editor you could use was VIM then Python would give you a huge productivity boost but when IDE's are brought into the equation its not as clear cut.
I think Java's merits are often solely evaluated on a language level and often on out dated assumptions but Java has many benefits external to the language itself, e.g the JVM (often criticized but offers huge potential), excellent IDE's and tools, huge numbers of third party libraries, platforms etc..
Question, Does Python/related dynamic languages really give the huge productivity boosts often talked about? (with consideration given to using new frameworks and working with medium to large applications).