I don’t think I’ve ever made a list of MY favorite developer tools.
First some background. I’ve been at least a part time developer since 1982. Since the late 80s, I have been pretty much a full time developer. Yes, during part of that time I did operational stuff with the software I wrote, but I probably spent 75% of the time coding/designing, and 25% as my own end user. Anyway, here is a list of tools I use all the time:
Microsoft MSDN Team developer ($5469) or Visual Studio Professional with MSDN Premium ($2,499)
Textpad I see lots of other editors mentioned – but I like Textpad
Cygwin Being able to use most UNIX command line tools in windows is great. I regularly have to parse 30+ meg files here at the office, and the tools in Cygwin do it faster than any windows based product I’ve found
RefactorPro! A totally amazing tool for refatoring your code. I’d say most C# programmers feel the same way about ReSharper. At one time, ReSharper didn’t do VB.NET, so…
Microsoft Virtual PC The ability to have clean build boxes, and test boxes, plus being able to test my software under various OSes. Great
Paint.NET Free Photo Editor