Unless you're a language enthusiast, most developers dislike "wasting" time trying to understand syntax. Syntax trivia makes for bad interviews, developers dismiss a problem as "that's just syntax", and it's generally considered a waste of mental energy for developers to thrash over syntax.
Now, at least for the type of .Net application development that I often do, syntax is mostly pain-free, partly thanks to:
Powerful IDEs that include intellisense and compiler checking.
Billions of online examples that are a google-query away, such as complete reference guides, tutorials, forums, and fellow blogger's who encountered the exact same one-in-a-million bug.
Better designed APIs. for example, both C# and VB.Net reuse the entire .Net framework, making syntax differences trivial.
Emergence of standards, like XML, HTML, and language conventions.
The deliberate attempt by designers and architects to reduce the need for syntax by wrapping interfaces with abstraction, using standards and patterns and reusable blocks, and leveraging config files.
More developers in the field with whom you can ask syntax questions too. For example, I can often ask clear-cut SQL syntax questions to our DBA, and he'll just nail them. ("What's the syntax for setting an index on a temp table...?")
More powerful hardware that lets you do all this. If you only have 4KB of memory, it's a challenge just to make something possible, and you're willing to throw easy-syntax overboard to get it to work. Your machine lacks the resources to "afford" an IDE, and every language construct is optimized for the limited resources as opposed to ease-of-learning.
However, it wasn't always this way. I remember as a kid back in the late 80's, with the TRS80 and RSDOS, just staring blankly at the green and black television (didn't have a monitor). There were a few "computer people" I could talk too (like my brothers), but it was nothing like today.
This comes to mind because I've been reading up on PowerShell and Silverlight, and it just works. I haven't had a major syntax problem yet. It feels like I'm just cruising down the highway, and that's a nice feeling.