I'm a complete beginner in graphics programming and want to learn more about the current graphics APIs. I've just finished reading this amazing "The history of opengl vertex data" article and really liked it. Can someone summarize or point me to some great resources about the history of other APIs?

I'd also love to hear your opinion about the current state of graphics APIs. What do you like and dislike? What is your favorite or preferred choice? And why? Also, what does a good graphics API in your mind look like? And how to know if one is good or bad?