Not so long ago I was told by a senior academic that, these days, VM-based code could run nearly as fast as compiled code, but my own experience is that compiled code runs several orders of time faster.
This is based on code attempting to do the same thing (processing a very large XML file) - in the case of the VM-based code (Groovy) I guess my code would complete in about two years (correct) whereas the C/C++ based alternative took about three hours.
The algorithms were not quite the same - but that was because using C/C++ allowed me to manipulate the memory at a byte level using pointers. The Groovy code was easier to write as the language was much more expressive, but the price paid was slow execution.
I don't claim to be the world's greatest coder so I would willingly accept that my code could have been improved: but what is the general view?