This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
You can use any language to build slow and/or ugly applications. You can use most languages to build fast and/or beautiful applications. That's an acquired skill, though, not guaranteed by the choice of language.