Some good blog posts on APEX.
ZDNet: salesforce.comÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Apex language is not the lock-in attempt it appears to be: Dave Berlind goes through his thought process on APEX. Skeptical at first, more reassured now, with a lot more questions to be answered.
Saas Blogs: Salesforce.comÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Apex: BenioffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Handcuffs for On Demand: The post itself is an attack on APEX, but through the comments, the tone changes. Interesting read.
And to hear it from the source of APEX, visit http://www.salesforce.com/landing/apex.jsp