I sorta agree. I'm glad most universities are switching to Java as the intro language. When doing, for example, binary trees in C++ you spend so much time worrying about making sure your pointers stay ok that you are never really spending time thinking about the tree algorithms. Since Java doesn't have pointers, you don't have to worry about that. But I still say knowing C++ is good. Because C++ can get very ugly and very complex, the way I see it is, if you can do C++, you can do any language, as long as you take the time to learn its syntax.
But, in addition to C++ having the no performance hit for stuff you don't use, C++ also trys to minimize the performance hit for things you do use. There is no doubt that a program written in C++ will out perform the same program written in Java. Things such as garbage collection take CPU time. C++ might be more difficult because you have to manage the memory yourself, but if you are writing a program where speed is important, C++ is probably a better option.