If I go back to when I started programming, my first goal was to create a game. It didn't matter at the time whether I was using some proprietary stuff like VisualBasic or older language like c or pascal. I had a goal in mind, which was to be able to control a simple sprite through a grid and I wanted to do it the simplest way that was possible. I still think the topic of first language is about motivation. You want to do something like you see. You don't necessarily want to learn a bunch of abstract design concepts like OO, design patterns. I needed something trivial and visual, yet extensible enough to allow me to add features I thought cool. VB was an awesome opportunity at the time as I could use drag and drop to manipulate objects and even though I was only manipulating widgets in a simple way, it allowed me to do all I required, even the more complex project ideas that followed.
If I look at today's alternatives, I see squeak that does right that, backed by the great smalltalk language. It is simple and visual, yet offers great flexibility. If I had Squeak as a choice when I started, that's probably what I would have chosen.
But it's all about motivation. Someone needs something of interest to work on and use the right tool for it. Programming is an art. You paint for yourself. And you learn to like painting. Then you try other styles: abstract, sceneries, portraits. And once you master enough your technique you can think about painting for others.