Microsoft released a free Visual Basic .NET Resource kit. And even if you are not a VB developer, it is worth a look. Among it's contents are free (yes, as in beer) copies of several big name .NET components:
- ComponentOne Studio Enterprise
A comprehensive collection of more than 30 high-quality WinForms and ASP.NET Web controls including grid components, reporting components, charting components, data components, user-interface components, and e-commerce components.
- Dundas Chart For Windows Forms, Professional Edition
Developed for rich-client .NET applications, this fully-managed charting control gives you all the features of a premium charting control. This functionality combined with incredible design-time support allows for the fast and easy creation of sensational looking charts that have the exact look and feel that you require.
- Infragistics UltraWebNavigator and UltraWinTree Controls
UltraWinTree delivers an advanced .NET tree control that surpasses the look and functionality of the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET TreeView control. UltraWebNavigator is the first tool to provide a simple, easy-to-use designer to create menu and tree hierarchies, making it possible for Web masters and non-programmers to build eye-popping navigation systems and outlines visually, without writing code.
- Sax Software Corp
Sax.net Communications makes it easy to add scalable serial communications to all your .NET applications.
When people ask why I develop for Windows, I always point to things like this. Microsoft real does bend over backwards to ensure developing applications for their platform is both easy and affordable.