Minh wrote:
Come ASP.net, Flash, Silverlight, and things have "improved" tremendously, in terms of the factors above.

But the barrier-to-entry is no longer NOTEPAD.EXE.

I have to disagree. You can still write your website using nothing but notepad and ftp, it's just a lot of work. Of course, "good" websites were always a lot of work, which is why there were (are?) so many bad websites.

Using an entirely Microsoft stack, one can write all the web content and code using a simple text editor, and just place all the files on the server. No IDE required. Writing XAML by hand, though, reminds me of the days of writing <table>-formatted web pages in text editors: nothing I'd want to do ever again. As for the code, having Intellisense and an integrated debugger beats poking around with Console.WriteLine() and alert().

Things are more complex, yes; that's the price of progress. But no one is requiring the use of IDEs for production. It's just that managing that complexity is so much easier with the proper tools.