For the moment, Ruby is my favorite language. A Japanese jewel of a scripting language: elegant, fully object-oriented and just terse enough.
A close-runner up, Python is the language I would recommend to anyone who wants to start with programming.
I used to be a Perl fan before I discovered Ruby and Python. Hey, I even wrote a book about it. Now I consider Perl an arcane abomination that survives by momentum alone. But it does have a lot of it.