My thoughts entirely. Get the right algorithm before worrying about execution speed.
It also has to be stated that costs are often relevant here. It costs pennies to have a computer run a task for an hour, but it costs dollars to have me work on a program for an hour. My ability to complete a program quicker is going to be a considerable factor.
Are there any known studies of how quickly languages allow implementation of set problems? This would be quite hard to administer.
I suppose we could generate an equation that considered cost of developer(s), cost of operation, number of runs required, expected lifespan of code, time to implement, debug, time to run etc that might apply to projects. Anyone seen this?