I don't think Flash is dead. AS3 is way harder to learn than AS2. If you're not a genius you need a strong desire to learn it and something of a monk like devotion really master it. I hardly have a monk like dicipline but I love the power of it. Unfortunately most developers aren't hard core programmers. If you made a class or a group of classes out of some frequent task you might find that it makes life easier. The rub of course you have to go through all that training. It IS very verbose but it's also very granular. If you should come over to the dark side I can point you to some really good tutorials that brought me up to speed quickly and almost painlessly. It's your choice the red pill or the blue pill.
I hear you - point me to those places, I will go with an unwilling face but an open mind.
Well AS2 still works up to Flash 10, so you can still use it.
The problem is: when you have to work on a file that already contains AS3 you HAVE to use AS3.
Making both compatible with each other seems to be an almost impossible Task, because the underlying "virtual machine" is completely different.
The way objects on the stage are organized is very different.
As a programmer I found AS3 to be a big step forward, because of performance and more control you get of the objects on stage. But still sometimes it makes the impression of being not fully developed. I hate the way events work, not as flexible as it could be and they're some bigger annoyances like this: If there is a movieclip instance "ball" on frame2 of your movieclip and you jump to frame 2, "ball" isn't accessible immediately, you have to "catch" it with an Event that tells you that "ball" has been put on the stage. This alone is really awkward.
I still like the simplicity of AS2, it really gets things done way faster if it needs to be "quick n dirty".
Up to now, you can still even use AS1 if you want to, it can be selected in the profile.
I think AS2 will be kept for a longer time and before Adobe ever dumps it, there should be an alternative for it like "AS light" or however it could be called.
ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Essential Training
ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS3 Professional Beyond the Basics
both at Lynda.com
Another reason I think Flash will live on is that it's not totally propritary it exist in the open source world http://www.osalt.com/flash so even if Adobe totally screws it up it will probably live on.
Remember tho, that in AS2 although you could appply code to a button, it still wasn't best practice. Best practice was to use a function and reference the instance in the same manner of AS3.
In that sense, it's not that much different.