Ah, you characterise yourself both as a newbie and as a religious fanatic, I see.
Given that newbies statistically have trouble grasping "syntax rich" foundations, I would suggest your argument is idealistic. Learning a bunch of syntactic features by rote is an effective way to get into trouble, and waste time doing it, and that is quite common for beginners (and, even a few too many teachers and authors). Pragmatically, if "old and dull" is useful to get the job done effectively, then use that. If "syntax rich" (or, in practice, specific syntax features) is useful to get the job done, then use that.
Having used both the new rich syntactic features in modern C++, as well as the old and dull things like win32, and even wrapping of old and dull things using modern techniques to get jobs done, my experience is not as black and white as you describe. In my experience, rich syntax is quite dangerous if it is used without sufficient understanding, and even more dangerous if support (eg compiler implementations) hasn't caught up - which it hasn't yet with some of the more latest features. Yes, there are problems with older APIs, but one of their virtues is that they are typically stable and better-documented so, with some care, are easier to understand and use.