* looping over elements has too much boilerplate
* the mindfulnesss of 'this' is distracting
* the duality of dictionaries and lists and how that's an easy lie to fall for is fustrating
* that there are multiple frameworks trying to use $
On the other hand, their anonymous functions are very nice. And, I rather like prototypes vs classes. A bit. Sometimes
With Python, I like significant whitespace (so sue me) and especially the syntax for collections and packing/unpacking them.
I've blogged along these lines a lot in the past e.g. http://williamedwardscoder.tumblr.com/post/18319031919/progr...
By this I refer to that in Python, most syntactic constructs map to more primitive operations that are accessible (and overridable) in the language itself. For example, anything can be made callable, indexable, sliceable, iterable, etc., by providing the right interface. It is like operator overloading on steroids. Even attribute access (the dot operator) can be overridden in extremely powerful ways. This is great for library writers, who can use it to provide the simplest possible API to their users.
Python's shortcomings are mainly syntactical (not counting the shortcomings of CPython's implementation specifically), such as not having an easy syntax for function expressions. This is the main reason functional programming can get slightly awkward in Python.
Minification should not be considered as a major reason to forgo the benefits of alternate scripting languages.