Your biased attitude towards all things Microsoft is not representative of the world at large.
As you yourself stated, ASP comes free with IIS, as does an SMTP server and FTP server, therefore it is not "expensive."
I have been watching the mySql help mailing list, and mySql has its share of bugs and difficulties as well.
ASP uses percent signs, but only at the beginning and end of the code, which are called delimiters. Those are the characters used to indicate server side script. And you can intersperse ASP code within HTML. As a programmer, I don't find using the delimiters annoying. It's part of the syntax. To say the percent signs are annoying is to also say that the semi-colon after every statement is annoying.
There are many millions of developers who do quite well with ASP. I wouldn't call that rubbish.