I really don't think we got anywhere.
You know, given that he acknowledges everything you just said, I think you missed his point.I get that C++ generally deals with a higher-level of abstraction, but that really has nothing to do with flexibility and functionality. You can implement closures in C, you can have an OOP style in C, it all depends on the programmer.
And to wit, most of the benefit from learning C++ first comes from using stuff like the STL early on, which is actually not the approach people seem to encounter. Even if I'm wrong about that, there is a whole widget for cleaning up STL related errors, so I don't find that to be very newbie-friendly either.... like I said, it's a pain.
I don't think it's fair to discuss features of X versus Y when we were originally asked a question about learning something. C++ does throw a lot at you, and in a weird way.