The funniest quote I've read for some time is "Lower-level languages that don't support associative arrays (such as C++ or Java) are not as good for implementing tag clouds, because you will end up writing considerably more code." on an ORA site. Later on in the comments the author says he really meant syntax support with "don't support", but well I can't see why a language is not suited for a problem because it has no syntax support for maps. It's nice to have, see Groovy, but 95% of the time when I use syntax sugar to create maps is when writing unit test. I very very rarely construct maps not dynamically in my applications.