A couple months ago I wrote a little about IronPython. A Python compiler that compiles to CIL. There have been other attempts to write such a compiler/execution environment but the performance of those systems were always very poor.
IronPython is written by the same person that wrote Jython I believe. Jython is a similar system that compiles Python to Java bytecode. The performance of IronPython is unexpectedly good, in some cases it’s even faster than the native C version of Python 2.3.
For as far as I know you can’t yet download IronPython anywhere yet (there’s only a version 0.2 prototype, but it does implement the whole Python vocabulary), but it seems Python is becoming some kind of allround solution. If you want your software to run on a machine that has Java installed you can compile it with Jython, if you want it to work on a system which supports .NET you can compile it with IronPython. If you want it to work on a regular Linux distribution you can probably run it with CPython, as Python is installed by default by many Linux distributions.
Read the IronPython whitepaper.