The major disadvantage of C++ is that you must recompile and link the object files to create a executable anytime you make a small change. The compile/link/debug cycles take away a lot of time and is quite unproductive. Since modern CPU's and RAM are becoming extremely fast and cheap, it is better to spend more money on hardware and use scripting languages for development.
The scripting language like PIKE eliminates the linking and re-compiling and will really speed up the development process.
As memory (RAM) prices are dropping and CPU speeds are increasing, scripting language like PIKE will EXPLODE in popularity. PIKE will become most widely used scripting language as it is object oriented and it's syntax is very identical to that of C++ language.
Programming productivity will increase by five times by using the Pike C++ scripting language. And Pike is very useful for 'proof of concept' and developing prototypes rapidly.
The Pike is at http://pike.roxen.com and at http://www.roxen.com.
The Roxen Web server is completely written in Pike, which demonstrates how powerful Pike is. Pike runs much faster than Java for some operations and is quite efficient in using memory resources.
If you want commercial scripting language, get the 'Ch scripting' product from SoftIntegration corporation at http://www.softintegration.com.
The scripting language environment called Ch is a superset of C with high-level extensions, and salient features from C++ and other languages so that users can learn the language once and use it anywhere for almost any programming purposes. This C-compatible scripting language environment is also a middleware serving as crucial software infrastructure for running portable applications in heterogeneous platforms. The portable Ch code can be deployed safely over the internet or intranets to run anywhere ranging from supercomputers, workstations, PCs, Palm Pilots, PDA, to non-traditional computing devices such as CNC machines, robots, TVs, refrigerators, among others.
PHP is hypertext-preprocessor scripting language and is very rapidly evolving and getting object oriented features. It has the "class" keyword through which it tries to implement object oriented scripting. May be in near future PHP will mature rapidly to become a robust scripting language for object oriented projects. In future it will tackle both the web applications and general purpose applications. Why have different scripting languages for web and general applications, instead just use PHP for both. PHP is at http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/PHP-HOWTO.html.