There are many things that Visual Studio does so well out-of-the-box, and then there is merging conflicts. The built-in merge tool is about as helpful as high beams on your car on a foggy night. The screen is full of information you just can't tell what it means.
Other merge tools, such as WinMerge will make your manual merge experience much more pleasurable and cut down on bad decisions brought about by information obfuscation. Fortunately you can change the defaut merge tool in Visual Studio. The blog entry that I have been using as my guide in this lately is this good write-up
Quote from his blog:
One thing I cannot get used to is the basic diff/merge tool. Where is the detail ? The screenshot below demonstrates the basic nature of the diff tool built into Visual Studio Team System. There is no indication of the number of differences between the files being diff’ed or even the actual differences on a particular line …