James Hague offers this assessment of functional programming:
My real position is this: 100% pure functional programing doesn’t work. Even 98% pure functional programming doesn’t work. But if the slider between functional purity and 1980s BASIC-style imperative messiness is kicked down a few notches — say to 85% — then it really does work. You get all the advantages of functional programming, but without the extreme mental effort and unmaintainability that increases as you get closer and closer to perfectly pure.
I found James Hague’s blog via a link from Greg Wilson. I’ve gone back through several posts on Hague’s blog Programming in the 21st Century and look forward to reading more.