> Sometimes I dream of a kernel written in a high-level programming language...
There are many such projects, including Inferno from Bell Labs, Singularity from Microsoft (!) and a whole lot of others.
It's an interesting research area because it completely throws away decades-old CPU memory protection, because typesafe virtual machines guarantee that you can't access anything you don't have a reference to.
Obviously none of these is usable as a desktop OS though.