Guillaume Marceau has done some excellent work crafting the data from the venerable Computer Language Benchmark Game into visualizations that quickly show the trade-offs of using each language. The speed, size and dependability of programming languages puts each language in a small graph that simultaneously shows the execution speed and program size of each test for every language. From there, the characteristics of each language is manifest. He then goes on to consider whether functional languages display unique performance/size characteristics.
This is a must-read. It’s also great information design, proving that programming language esoterica needn’t bore the reader.