Did you know you can use Delphi for free with the free Delphi Berlin Starter edition? If you want you can get started right know:
If you are a hobbyist, a student or just starting your own development, the Starter Edition is just fine. You can develop serious Windows desktop software with this version, as it includes a lot of the features you need, such as support for HTTP(S) requests including JSON and BSON that would allow you to consume WebServices. It even includes FMX, so you could start building visually stunning stuff with DirectX accelerated GUI graphics. Looking at the complete feature set will give you an idea of what’s possible out of the box, and although not mentioned here the ClientDataset in-memory table is actually part of Delphi Starter:
Daniel Wolf did some research on what you can do with the Starter Edition; his conclusion was that you could write software for an airport with Delphi Starter. Read his nicely detailed article here.
And don’t forget, this edition allows you to use and install third-party components as well. And there are a lot of Delphi Components out there.