why haskell? because functional languages are the future. why? because the von neumann architecture is giving way to parallelism, be it hadoop/mapreduce, or a thirty-two way multicore processor under your desk. read herb sutter's "end of the free lunch". any way you slice it, tools that address slicing up problems better across arrays of resources are the future. who knows, maybe (likely) java etc will incorporate this stuff. its no coincidence that haskell shows up in the google mapreduce tutorial.
learning haskell isn't easy, you basically have to relearn everything, and it is often confusing. but once you do, you will be five years ahead of your peers
Second time I was serious, invested a significant amount of time, but still gave up when I reached monads.
Then I taught myself scheme and worked my way through SICP, just to be better prepared. Now I'm trying again, and it makes a little more sense, but I'm still stuck at monad transformers.
If someone can learn Haskell in a week I hate them. And I hate all monad tutorials. "Monads are easy, they are just like a conveyor belt" "No, they are just like a spacesuit!" "Monads are like a box of apples, that magically transforms into a box of oranges!" "No, its easy: Monads are just like green monsters whits eats values, but when you kill the monsters they puke the values out again - you could have invented them yourselves! Perhaps you already have!"