It is a language, better than MatLab/R/SPSS, which come before it.
I honestly don't think it is that bad. And they are many people don't care from a programming language perspective, they need to just finish the functionality.
I don't think so. I think R is a lot more expressive and not really any harder to read. It might have a steeper learning curve, but it's not so bad that I think that actually matters.
I would choose Python any day if the other option is R.