I month or so ago I posted my thoughts about Visual Studio. Basically, the idea was that the suite of tools rocked, but was priced wat too high for the hobbyist/entry level programmer to pay on their own.
Well, Microsoft stepped up big time and released express versions of VS 2005 (albeit betas right now) components this week. I've been testing them for a day now and all I can say is Kudos! Not that my post had anything to do with the release of these tools
(I would guess at least 6 months worth of work went into setting up the express packages), but I sure feel like MS is listening to customers (developers in this particular case) and listening with intent to reply in good favor.