Yea, D3D9 is still great. But I wouldn't really suggest it for people who want to start learning D3D these days. Sure, it's faster to start with than with 10/11. BUT - that applies if you use the FFP and you won't be able to stay with that for a long time. If you want just to try something, see how it works, but have no serious plans with D3D in the future, then you may use 9.0c, why not. But if you really want to learn it and become quite good at it once, then starting with this old version will actually turn against you in the long run, because you will need to learn again and again from the start.
You'll get into 9.0c with FFP, you'll make your first simple testing applications or maybe simple games. Then you'll realise that you need shaders and you'll learn HLSL and all that. And then 9.0c will maybe really become dead (even deprecated by MS) and you'll have to learn DX11.
While if you start with DX11, you'll have a slower start, but you won't waste time later on learning something else.
In this sense, I kinda agree with the first post. But in general I don't agree with the title of the thread - because as I already said, existing D3D9 users don't have to be motivated enough to move to 11, if they are used to 9, know how to use it effectively, want their game to be as compatible as possible etc.