The problem is that "modern computer langauges" are designed by PhD's in computer science who know what they learned in grad school, which is heavy on the "delegates? Anonymous functions? Closures? Reflection" axis of desiderata and pffs away questions of fast numerical support with "link to C"---mostly because something like that wouldn't be seen as New And Cool by tenure committees.
Citation needed. Looking at the modern language landscape, what I see is are languages that were:
a) created by lone hackers looking to scratch a personal itch (EG: Perl, Ruby)
b) created internally by a corporation to solve an otherwise intractable engineering problem (EG: C, Erlang)
c) created by corporations looking to sell developer seats and/or create vendor lock-in (EG: Java, Visual *, *.net)
Languages designed primarily as academic exercises / thesis projects have historically had very small user bases outside of academia, with a few exceptions.
Anonymous functions, closures, reflection, etc are not esoteric Ivory Tower language features that are important because they're "cool" -- they're important because they're essential for efficient metaprogramming and higher order programming.