I think you should try VS.NET. You will see that VS.NET can be used to produce .NET code. It can also be used to create normal C++ code with or without MFC. VS6 isn't sought after, the ability useful to game engine writers is writing good and performant code, preferably in C++ for critical parts is. You can use a slightly older, inferior tool like VC6, or you can use a slightly better, advanced version like VS.NET. And again, this has nothing to do with the .NET Framework if all you need is unmanaged C++.
I'm several 'generations' behind, using MSVC 6 SP6. I noticed it's pretty sought after especially amongst more focused diciplines such as game engine writing etc where .NET obviously will not suffice.
I just think that before you declare that MS sucks, you should at least know what it is that they suck at doing.
Well I don't know EXACTLY what it is, but all I can tell you is it generally slows down your programs execution times (only a little, but hey) but I guess it's useful.