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> Futhermore, one of the first files you see when opening the distribution
> package is the evil (from the Windows programmer point of view)
> "configure". I could use cygwin to at least configure the package and
> then make the necessary adjustments to compile it under Windows using a
> native compiler, but I prefer to hack Lua.

On a point of order, there are many software distros which rely upon 
"./configure" but which are perfectly Windows-cool (I have no idea if 
Io is one of these -- received wisdom suggests it isn't, but that 
means little).

For example, MinGW is a "native Windows compiler", and comes with a 
build environment called MSYS that gives you enough Unixish 
scriptability to use ./configure; make to produce Windows-centric 
builds of many open source projects. (It's also great for non-GNUish 
software builds, such as Lua.) For open source software it might be 
worth treating it as the primary Windows build environment, as it's 
free and readily available, and doesn't need VC-proprietary build 
files. (A good few FLOSS projects do just that.)

If you insist upon a Visual-C/C++/Nettesque buld environment for 
MinGW (which is, after all, "Minimalist GCC for Windows") then try 
Dev-C++ (a GUI with a built-in distro of MinGW in some 10MB of 
download!) from Not perfect but pretty darned good for 
the price ($0).