I'm very happy to see that with .Net, command-line compilers, and a lot of tutorial information, were made available to developers free of charge.

But why does wrapping it in an IDE suddenly make it a $500 piece of software?

I've been playing with SharpDevelop, since I currently don't have a corporation to spring for the software price.  Haven't gotten too far, since I need a project to actually make me work through it.