Results of my non-scientific research: "Python sucks". Or rather Python performance does suck big time. Or rather lack of performance.
$ cat a.py
print "Hello world!"
$ time python a.py
Compare to this:
$ cat a.pl
print "Hello World!\n";
$ time perl a.pl
$ cat a.c
$ make a && time ./a
gcc a.c -o a
I mean, what Python does those 40ms? Compared to Perl's 4ms? Or C's ZILCHms?
Absolute values seem to be small enough to be disregarded. But the same cliche can be seen in bigger applications.
For example Gentoo's tool chain - emerge - many Gentoo users are familiar with. Its DARN slow. Even compared to Debian system - apt-get - which does so much more and often labeled by jealous RedHat folks "amateurish" - works magnitudes faster (and even on junk hardware).
Or SCons. SCons take 1.5 seconds to just start up and print help message. It's Perl's sibling cons/pcons in the time manages to compile several sources.