From the site you linked to:
(In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
This idiom is Indian English
So given that it was an article about US government, it's fair to assume that the writer was trying to use American English idioms, rather than Indian English ones.
Sure, $10-$15k may be "the cheapest part of running a datacenter", but for someone starting a new business, bootstrapping themselves up, A $10-$15k up front expense can be pretty prohibitive. Let's say you buy a pair of $4000 servers, (Web and DB) and drop them in a colo charging somewhere around $700-$1000 a month. With open source software, you can be up and working on about 10 grand initial investment, plus $1000 a month. After the first year, you're at $22k. Now, Let's look at microsoft licensing: SQL Server Web is ~$4.5k per processor, plus $1k for the OS so my dual core DB machine is $10k up front. The web server is cheaper, ~$500 up front for the OS, and that includes IIS. Then add in two Developers with MSDN Professional, Microsoft list price of $1,200 each ($800 might be possible with "volume licensing", but probably not for 2 developers) and you're looking at a total of $13k.
So: to sum up, Open source/free tools: $10k first month, $21k for a year. $33k for a second year, and $45k for a third year. Microsoft toolstack: $23k for the first month, $34k for the year, $46k for the second year, $58k for the third. So, basically, buying Microsoft for a small shop ends up costing you about 1 year of your hosting budget.
And sure, forums with the MS Professionals are useful, but as a secondary form of documentation. When I'm the only person at my shop, and I'm trying to solve a problem, if I have to pause my dev process for 2 days to wait for a response, that's cutting 1% off of my profit margin.
Ok, to be fair, C# is actually a pretty damn good language. I would rank it up there with Python and Ruby in terms of flexibility and modern features. It's actually a way better language than Java, because it hasn't been hindered by the 10 years of analysis paralysis that Java has.
Seriously? Mod_mono_module? Have you even tried using that on an existing ASP.NET app? About 1/3 of the important features are broken.
ASP.Net/C#/MSSQL/Windows/Visual Studio is great as long as you're willing to dump $10-15 grand for the whole stack of software. If you do, a ton of stuff "just works", and you can be incredibly productive. However, take one step outside of that stack, and you're back to writing just as much code as a PHP developer would, and you're due for some major headaches. Swap out your MSSQL server for MySQL or Oracle? Entity framework breaks, and Linq isn't very functional either. You're back to writing ADO.NET. Want to drop the $1500 Visual Studio? Sure you can edit with Notepad and Nant or MSBuild files, but welcome to a world of hurt, not to mention there's barely any documentation or support on blogs, books, or IRC channels. Try running on Mod_mono? Hope you didn't build anything that uses WebForms, or WCF, because if you did, you're going to be rewriting them. Prefer Python over C#? Sure, there's IronPython, but there's basically 0 documentation, and you're on your own.
Scanning through, there were a few I noticed, that I didn't give my opinions on:
6) Node.js - Blazingly fast with nonblocking IO, and the V8 JS engine. It's got a ton of rabid supporters, and is very sexy. However, it's purely single threaded, so it's easy to write code that will lock up your webserver and run away with the code, especially if you're not used to working in event/callback ways. As a single-threaded app, it can't take advantage of multicore or multiprocessor servers very well. Further, I believe it's still pre-1.0 release. Like Ruby, expect to pay a lot for hiring additional developers
7) Java Play - A lot of the same ups as Railo, Mostly the same downs. It'll be easier to find Java Developers than Railo developers, but learning Java as a PHP dev is a little higher of a cliff than learning CFML (Railo's Language)
Wait, your'e suggesting dumping PHP for Perl because it's easy to write hackish code in PHP?
Don't get me wrong, Perl is a neat language, with lots of cool features, but I don't think that I'd push it to a PHP developer looking for better options.