I've recently been moving a lot of my older demos from when MOSS first RTMed into my new dev environment. During the move, I am also taking the time to update them to VS.NET 2008 and any other nicer tools that have come along. A popular demo of mine is a solution that shows you how to merge SharePoint list data into MS Word documents leveraging the Open XML file format. This example was originally published as part of my book: Pro SharePoint Solution Development by Apress. While moving the demonstration to my new development environment, I made two significant changes that simplify the development experience.
First, I decided to use the Word 2007 Content Control Toolkit. This tool available from codeplex (http://www.codeplex.com/dbe) allows you to easily insert a custom XML part into the document and provides a drag and drop experience for binding the content controls. This cut quite a lot of time out of building the solution since the toolkit creates the supporting relationship XML parts for you and handles the XPath queries for the content controls.
My other improvement was deciding to incorporate the September CTP of the Open XML SDK 2.0. There was no such SDK when I built the solution the first time, so my only option was to use the packaging API available in the .NET framework itself. I had previously tried the 1.0 version of the SDK and found it lacking in a lot of basic areas, but this new 2.0 one looks very promising. I commented out more lines than I had written in the first version of the solution. You can get this SDK here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb448854(office.14).aspx
I'm also doing a lot more of video capturing of my solutions for other developers to follow.
Update 2/1/2010; Since Microsoft took down the Silverlight streaming service I was using. I posted an updated version of the video on skydrive. Enjoy!