I started with ZX Basic via First Steps With Your Spectrum and Input Magazine when I was 6-11, moved on to AMOS, Amiga BASIC and C in high school, Visual Basic, Pascal and C++ in college, followed by too many other languages to list as an adult.
I remember C being by far the hardest language to learn, I agree with I agree with John Beetem; pointer arithmetic, preprocessor macros and its rather unintuitive operators aren't very helpful to the beginner programmer. BASICs and Pascal aren't very useful in the modern world, PHP is just downright C-based ugliness and really requires a web stack to run upon.
The language I remember having the most fun with as a young adult was most likely mIRC script, writing programs that ran in chat rooms as a social exercise among friends who were unable to automate things. There's a real joy solving real world problems that are instantly recognised by your peers.
A good language for beginners must IMO be very easy to pick up yet allow progression to advanced concepts in future. It must have real, practical uses that inspire beginners to tinker and make really cool things. It must be cool, used by rockstar programmers who make awesome stuff rather than having the stigma of being an academic or beginner's language. It must be very popular so it has a large support network, because learning is a lot more rewarding when you've got a good mentor and a series of short articles, compared to sitting with a 500-page manual in solitude. It must have been around long enough not be a fad, but not show signs of vanishing into obscurity any time soon.
# hello grep.py
for line in open("file.txt"):
if line contains "something":