I've heard a lot of bad press on this book. I read it recently, and I figure I should add my own insights. I think half of this book is great and the other half is interesting. The Viaweb, startup, business side of things is great. The programming, spam stopping side of things is interesting.
I think the second half is what gets the "he's a wanker" award, and I can understand how folks might feel that way. After all, we're mostly Java developers right? What does he rag on the most? Windows. And Java. I think he's got some interesting ideas, and they basically make sense, but they aren't helping me today.
Now, talk to me about startups, web applications, and all the guts and glory that come with that topic and I'm hooked. Paul confirms my fears about trying something on my own, that the payoff is between 0 and 1000 times the reward I get every day for going to work and doing my standard programming job. If the odds were 1 to 1000 times, a startup wouldn't feel so scary.
Paul gave me some good things to think about, and his advice was from his real-world experience. I need to find other books detailing the struggles of startup ventures in technology, that topic is important, to me at least. IMHO, YMMV, etc.