My main gripe with MSDN/Visual C++ is the integration in the IDE. It's goddamn SLOW. I usually use a google search on MSDN over using their own inbuilt crap. Maybe it's just my machine, but the pain in waiting for my machine to unlock is terrible.
I prefer the external help, but I agree it's a bit of a pain to get it started. The MSDN library for 2005 should be faster, or so they said, but it still takes about 10 seconds to pop up, which is a very long time to wait for an application. But once it has started, I don't see any problems with it (the search could be better though, this _is_ actually a lot better in the 2005 edition). Anyway, at work I just don't shut down my computer overnight and keep the MSDN library open, so I'm good to go anytime of the day
chot: Right, ok, got it. Just as long as you know that whenever you make false accusations in general about windows, visual studio or the MSDN I'll be all over you like the boston molasses flood of 1919