Comparing a C/C++ run-time to the Java/.NET framework dependency is a bit too much? The game I am working on has around 7 binary lib dependencies.. And they are all statically linked. The EXE has zero dependencies (other than standard Windows DLLs of course). Heck, it does not even need an installer. The only reason why most of the C++ games require MSVCR DLLs installed are because developers are lazy, don't want to build static libraries themselves for their compiler/MT/MD support and just link with the binary DLL packages they can find on the net.
Personally I think C/C++ is beautiful. You haven't learned programming until you are at the hardware level C/C++ allows you to be at. Still, for a newcomer - learning C++ (or even just C) is a bit overkill. As all the others, I do suggest starting with something more abstracted (Java/Python/C#/you name it).
I like engines. But more importantly, I like well abstracted, stable, flexible libraries. Isn't it great to wake up in the morning and realize there is a new 1.x.x release for one of the libraries you are using? It's like another person on the team did the job while you were sleeping. Same thing applies to engines.