Really, what's so bad about BASIC. Line numbers? GOTO, GOSUB? In the first week I had my Trash80 I went from a "Hello World" loop to a cataloging program for all of the articles in my stacks of electronics magazines.
Within a month I'd written a terminal emulator program in BASIC with ML inserts to take advantage of a software high-res screen driver I'd acquired that allowed me to have a "real" terminal display on my TV instead of the 32x16 hardware default.
When I started working with PC-BASIC, GW-BASIC and compiled BASIC on PC's, Most of the syntax was familiar and the learning curve was very short. I didn't have access to a PC at home, so I came up with a pre-processor that would allow me to write code with named subroutines and no line numbers that was generic for the TRS-80 and PC-BASIC.
Once I had something ready, I'd run it through the first pass for syntax check, second for line numbering and third to create two complete program files, one to test on the TRS-80 and the other for the PC. I used that abortion for about seven months until we got our first XT compatible.
I shifted to dBase and Clipper for several years, but when I got my hands on Access VBA and Visual Basic, I was already used to writing that kind of code after a fashion. There was a small learning curve going to the event driven environment, but it didn't take long.
I can only speak from my experience, but I attended many many meetings of a local database user's group and while most of us were using higher level tools to create enterprise level data management systems, the C guys were content to get a few lines of records up on the screen in a table format. It seemed that every time they started a project in C, they had to reinvent the wheel. They were quite happy to build an elegant, structured little tricycle while the rest of us were cruising the stratosphere in big, sloppy, unstructured jumbo jets.
Yes, I know that development tools are far more evolved now, but the point still remains: When you drive, drive the vehicle that will best take you to your destination. When you're in a gunfight, use the weapon you can draw the fastest.
Like it or not, BASIC syntax is still the lingua franca of a lot of development environments. Traditional BASIC isn't going to kill any kids or rot their tiny brains. I can't think of any better IDE for a beginner that LIST, EDIT, DELETE, RENUM and RUN.