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It's not about how easy something is to do. The greatest value of functional programming is robustness. In 10 years of professional programming, I'd estimate that something around 90% of the nastiest bugs I've discovered would have been preemptively prevented by using a strictly functional style. Sometimes these bugs are just the result of poor thinking, but often they are the subtle result of changes over time that would be almost impossible to anticipate.

Functional programming imposes some constraints that range from mild discipline to mind-bendingly difficult. However in general I can't think of many constraints that provide a better power-to-weight ratio (garbage collection is probably one).

If Haskell was the dominant language and functional programming was how everything was done all the time, then I could buy into the argument that there are easier ways to do things. However as it stands, not enough people really grok functional programming (myself included) to optimally apply those principles towards the creation of robust systems in non-pure languages.

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