VHDL is an example of a HDL, that is "Hardware Description Language" (the other well-known alternative can be Verilog). It cannot be easily compared with a "programming languages" like C, C++, Java, etc etc. About the "pay more VHDL programmers to emulate the other 8-bit systems": This is not emulation! Emulation is done if you write some (for example in C) software run on a computer (like on a PC) to emulate something. VHDL implementation is different, it's a hardware level implementation of what it describes as a hardware, and not an emulation (ie the emulator software). Basically this makes it hard to find many VHDL guys: it's not so easy to learn and understand with "only" programming language backgrounds (like for a C or C++ coder), since they're totally different in the very nature. I can say this with my experience, I also try to learn VHDL, really it's not so easy as the first glance, even if you have decades of programming language experiences otherwise (but surely, it can be the case, that it's just more hard for me, than for others, who knows).