Alas, in some way the hobbyist perspective is bleak ;)
A good reason to acquire an academic status is to use VAX for $49 :) http://wholetomato.com/purchase/default.asp
Visual Assist is terribly addictive (we use it at work).
My idÃ©e fixe is that VMKs still could use VAX as a teaser [ad] in front of throngs of hobbyists. :)
As to the tools for amateurs (and more), besides Visual Studio for students, it should be mentioned Code::Blocks: http://www.codeblocks.org/
- free IDE & compiler.