We have worked hard to listen and respond to the feedback from SharePoint Developers on VSeWSS. After VSeWSS 1.2 released in July 2008 we went out and talked to lots of SharePoint Developers about what they liked and didn't like about developing with VSeWSS. All of the new features in VSeWSS 1.3 are as a result of customer feedback, and there are lots of them. We just finished the VSeWSS 1.3 March 2009 CTP which released a couple of days ago. Read about the new features in the release notes and if there's anything we missed, please tell us.
If you want to see how easy it is to get going with SharePoint Development using VSeWSS, check out Kirk Evans short screecast showing building a Web Part, packaging and deploying it and some of the new features that make workarounds a thing of the past.
If you want to learn SharePoint Development using VSeWSS, check out the hands on labs and training videos at MSSharePointDeveloper.com.
Also released today is a set of 10 new theme projects for VSeWSS. These are individual Visual Studio 2008 projects which when deployed to SharePoint offer fresh new designed themes you can use in your projects.
VSeWSS will continue to be the recommended Microsoft tool for SharePoint Development until Visual Studio 2010 is released including a brand new set of SharePoint Tools. If you are a SharePoint Developer then your feedback about VSeWSS is important to us. You can give feedback on the tool at our Connect site here, or if you want to have a discussion about VSeWSS we recommend the MSDN SharePoint Development forum here. You can also give feedback as a comment on my blog and I will try to reply to anything posted here.
The Release To Web (RTW) of VSeWSS 1.3 is expected in July 2009 and we are not planning any further CTP releases.
If you want even more info about VSeWSS you can learn SharePoint Developer Best Practices direct from Microsoft Patterns and Practices published November 2008 here.