Why, why syntax does have to matter? I thought it matters too, at first, but after sixth or so language I noticed the feeling of importance of syntax vanishing. Now I find good support in my editor much more important than syntax.
(Edit: and "you don't need editor support if you have good syntax" doesn't seem true to me either)
The paradox of Erlang is that the sorts of environments it's used in and that initially supported its development are often fairly conservative, so the features and choices it started out with are not easy to get rid of. This means the language is saddled with some ugly warts.
It's really good at what it does and is definitely worth a look, but I agree that sooner or later someone is going to come along and steal lots of the good parts and add them to a more modern language.