@Jules: You say VS 11 is dreary. Do you mean Visual Studio in general? If so, wouldn't that also be true if you are building XAML apps, as well as non Metro style applications? The IDE is pretty much the same regardless of what type of application you are building.
Or are you saying that the problem is not Visual Studio, but the actual apps you build? I agree that the various templates don't have a lot of color in them. But you can use Blend to create good looking apps. Check out this week's episode (coming Wednesday) on using Blend to create good looking HTML based Metro style apps. And next week's episode will show using Blend with XAML based Metro style apps.