For the typical API-user, I've found the GLib/Gobject-based libraries of high quality (think GLib itself, GStreamer, json-glib, soup, GDBus), esp. with respect to the ease of using some of the G-niceties such as signals, watching properties for changes (or even binding them).
A hurdle comes when writing your own GObjects; that indeed requires a bit of practice - but it's not /so/ hard either -- not harder than some of the magic in 'modern' C++. There are some niceties in C++ that I miss in C sometimes -- such as some simplified memory management, and the ability to create small helper classes; perhaps lambdas. But overall, I like the clarity, simplicity of C, and I find that it's the most natural way to use the aforementioned libraries. Don't call me a 'zealot' for that!
Anyway, when we go beyond C, I hope one of the next-gen languages becomes a feasible choice (such a D or rust).
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