You know, I think Perl might be pretty well suited.

The String interpolation removes the need for concatenation of variables to strings, as you embed them in the string, like:

# quick multiple assingment on one line :)
my ($name, $v1, $v2, $v3) = ('Bob', 456, 789, 'abc');
my $str = "My name is $name... I can have \"vars\" side by side like $v1$v2 as well as text after/before a var, like 123${v3}321.";
# Comment: $str will end up being:
# "My name is Bob... I can have \"vars\" side by side like 456789 as well as text after a var, like 123abc321."
my $str2 = qq{You can also use the "qq" operator, if you don't want to use \" for a literal " :).};
# $str2 is now:
# "You can also use the \"qq\" operator, if you don't want to use \\\" for a literal \" :)."

There are many other useful constructs. I also think that being able ot embed comments is something mIRC script lacks. Perl also has native support for RegEx, which is more powerful than the flavor in mIRC script.

The only question is how impliment. If you ask me, you can bundle a stripped version of the win32 activestate perl interpreter, like without some of the non essential libraries ( but maybe check if the system already has Perl, and if so, ask the user if they want to use it instead.)

I know this might be a long shot, but I think the sheer power of Perl and ease of use (once you learn how Perl works, you can do some really cool things in a very small amount of lines in most cases.)

IMHO, I think its worth looking at. After using Perl as the host language for ASP (yep, asp without vbscript or javascript!) on Apache::ASP, it just made things so much easier. You no longer need so much extra code to do realatively simple tasks.