To me there is no big difference for small projects - as long as there are good libraries to match the problem domain and the general abstraction model.
And as others have said, the first time you encounter a language with a good ecosystem and a great IDE it makes a hue difference
The right abstraction model (oo, functional, aspect oriented etc.) that matches how you think and solve problems can make a big difference. I can totally believe that there would be a language that makes really good programmers (the ones already 10 times more productive than average) more productive by another factor 10
For larger projects, or longer in time, i think it can matter even more - but there is often a tradeoff
- some languages make it easier to translate the thinking into code the first time, they flow easier for you - this is often familiarity as much as anything, but it counts
- some languages make it easier to extend, refactor, debug over time (and some languages make it easier to be correct and consistent and error free up front)
- some languages make it easier to develop with a team and with other functions (UX, BA), with easy separation of concern, domain model, assets etc.
- some languages make it easier to manage and deploy and monitor
- some languages make it easier to measure, document and communicate the system... it can go on
trick is, at the moment based on my experience over years, they are not the same languages, especially in a team setting - and sometimes it's a tough tradeoff