I've just read "Do You Believe In Magic?" and the following quote resonated particularly well:
"It's not magic. There is no magic involved. It's just, if you never learnt Lisp, then you never learned to program, and Ruby's power is exposing a deficiency in your skills."
I find it to be very true, and I suppose one of the reasons I'm so happy about Ruby is that I learned Lisp and Scheme before. Even though I didn't use Lisp for any sizable project.
I tried, but I found it to be quite unfriendly and 'hairy' in setup, environment and library support. Ruby solved all that for me w/o sacrificing almost anything power vise.