Still, this has not been totally idle time, and there are some lessons learned.
- Visual C# Express has unacceptable limitations with regards to debugging - e.g., no conditional breakpoints. Yes, I know there are workarounds, but the absence of such a basic feature sounds as a warning - what other features could be missing? I do realize it's free, and I'm getting more than I paid for.
- I found a few stability issues with MonoDevelop on Win7. I found even more documentation issues, especially regarding Gtk#. I've had to rely on, e.g., Python articles, to get info on Gtk. It's not the end of the world, but it's annoying.
- Working on Windows with anything other than Visual C++ ranges from "slightly painful" to "huge pain". Not because of some inherent VC++'s superior quality, but because many tools/libs/etc supply little to no aid for those who have other IDEs/compilers on Windows. Fortunately, I'm not the first faced with this the problem, nor - even more fortunately - the most knowledgeable.
- I found Code::Block's settings/configurations more intuitive than Qt Creator's. However, so far I'm having an easier time working with Qt Creator's GUI tool.
- Getting Qt Creator to work with a newer version of mingw was easier than expected (again, so far). I just added a new tool chain and selected it in the build settings. It was totally non-intuitive that the build settings were accessed by clicking "Projects" on the left-hand bar on the IDE.
- Building Boost with mingw has been a... learning experience. Then again, isn't everything, after the rage subsides? :) After much wrestling with 1.48, I've finally managed to build it with mingw. I wanted to give boost::filesystem a spin, so no way to avoid building it. Then, 1.49 came out, and I built it again. Or rather, tried to. I've never managed get it successfully with "--build-type=complete". After much collision between head and wall, I've decided (out of desperation) to download the latest mingw (instead of using the one included in Qt Creator) and... voilà! Success on the first attempt.
So, what follows? Well, I'll be trying to build libssh2, so I expect more drama will ensue :)