As I have been on a search to see if anything out there is good enough to Replace Test Partner, one thing I have run into at least in this day and age is that Writing the script to test seem to be going away of the future.
It seems like more and more automation testing is done through some Keyword type automation first, and then that gets converted over to some scripting language. (its like Visual test in Test Partner)
I haven't seen any (besides TP) that allows me to just write a automation script from the start.
The closet I have seen is Quick Test Pro
But because of the way the VB Script language is, it doesn't attach to different items, (Does attach to objects like it does in Test Partner) so you have to type each object out.
I've used QTP extensively without ever looking at the expert view.
Writing out the lines isn't that bad really, there is intellisense for the methods. I don't like to myself, but you can use the With command to avoid some typing, something like this (not sure if the syntax is correct):
.WebEdit("p").Set "automation testing"