My opinion on visual apps
IMNSHO MFC takes way too long to learn and code, so why don't you all just go out and buy C++ Builder? If it is because it can't create console apps, then buy 1.0, or even version 2! They make console apps as well! The compiler makes Visual C++ look SO slow. BUT, if you want to make good database, client server, or just any good visual app, then pass up Visual Basic and get Delphi, it is easy to use and powerful. You can get components off of the internet to do more specific things and the code runs fast. I prefer it alot to C++ Builder. Don't get me wrong though, I still use VC6, becuase of it's awesome IDE and class explorer and it's ability to handle larger projects with ease.