Ya know, I never thought I'd say this, but my recent round of excruciating Visual Studio pain has caused me to ask: Waaay back in the day, my first paid gig at Garage Games, before Visual Studio express version even existed, was to put together a build system involving Eclipse and I don't remember what compiler, but it was a free way to build Torque without buying Visual Studio. We dropped that chain of development like a hot potato as soon as VS became free, because it was a serious pain in the butt to maintain a secondary build method when there was already a free option.
But... fast forward to today, does anyone have any suggestions for a potential windows environment build method/compiler that might circumvent this trauma? I love all the bells and whistles but this round of BS has got me seriously doubting the wisdom of being 100% dependent on Visual Studio for my windows build. I'm half afraid that I'm going to pave and reinstall only to find the same thing popping up in a few weeks, given how all of my recent problems have manifested entirely on their own.
EDIT: (I don't even care about the IDE at this point, I'd go back to using Emacs if I had a good way to command line compile for Windows. I suppose I should try reinstalling the OS at least once before I give up but... dang, Microsoft!)
Even when you get VS working again, you could try out code:blocks with gcc a try, as an alt. Im Linux only so I can only attest for that but after I figured it out I really like it. It very simplistic but I enjoy the work flow of it.