> This would be a good argument if Python be a write-only language.
I'm pretty sure the character counts are the same whether you're
reading or writing. If anything, writing is based on keystrokes, but
reading is based on characters.
It's not that simple -- it takes more work to type the quotes -- it may take more work to read them, but they provide useful information -- this is a string. If I see:
colors = ["red", "green", "blue"]
It is VERY clear to me, at a glance, that it is a list of strings.
but when I see:
colors = "red, green, blue".split()
I need to think about it a bit.
%w[red green blue]
The  make it pretty clear at a glance that I'm dealing with a list -- but the lack of quotes is really likely to confuse me -- particularly if I have identifiers with similar names!
%w[1 2 3]
would really take a cognitive load to remember that that is a list of strings.
I won't say that I (as a pretty bad typist) don't get annoyed at having to type quotes a lot, but I really do appreciate that clear distinction between identifiers and strings when reading code.