I've recently discovered Delphi/Pascal. I come mainly from a scripting background, and know a little C++. From what I can tell, especially for creating applications (rather than just console programs), Delphi makes things much easier than C++, without sacrificing much in the way of speed or flexibility.
Now, I'm just not willing to shell out $1000s for Borland Delphi, at least not now. I've been trying to learn the language using the Lazarus IDE (FreePascal) http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/
And I've started looking over this site on writing Delphi apps using the windows API:
I need some suggestions on where to learn Pascal/Delphi, preferably not too dependent on Borland, and that uses straight code as opposed to visual drag/drop IDE stuff. Keep in mind I'm a beginner, but a decent programmer who knows other languages, and that my goal is to learn how to program reasonably sophisticated applications. If there's a book you know of that is really good, I'd be willing to buy it.