A great many people still use VB Runtime functions in their code, i.e. functions like MsgBox and InStr that have been ported over from VB6. A great many of these are completely useless in that they simply reproduce functionality that is provided as or more easily in the Framework. There are those that do add some value in some cases, but most would not be missed in terms of functionality at least.
It's my opinion that these functions were probably included in VB.NET to make the legions of disgruntled VB6 developers feel more comfortable when making the switch. It's also my opinion that the vast majority of people who use these functions are either ex-VB6ers themselves or have learned from one.
I always recommend to people to avoid such functions unless they genuinely add value. MsgBox is a prime example of a function that I think should never be used. Many others who recommend not using them cite the fact that they may be deprecated in a future version as one of the reasons.
My question to the VB team (finally) is this: what is your position (official, or personal if you care to give it) on using these functions and is there any likelihood that they will be dropped from the Framework at any point in the foreseeable future?