It's been quite a while since I spent time trying to build a game. Back in the day I had "some success" with Turbo Pascal and everything that goes along with that (read: xmode and creating your own mouse library).
When Managed DirectX came about, I downloaded the bits and had a go. I wasn't too happy with what was there because it still felt like a helluva lotta work to get going. My feeling was that if I had to initialize drawing surfaces etc etc I might aswell sharpen
the old C++ pencil and code against DirectX using native code.
XNA however... WOW! I downloaded the bits after watching and 15 minutes later I have surface with a sprite happily moving along to my keypresses and some basic collision detection... Amazing!
I'm very happy indeedy. Thanks to everyone involved with this initiative!