To answer your specific question, i tend to let new releases of visual studio express "bed-in" for 6 - 12 months before changing. I'm using VS2010 at home at the moment, but that's mainly because we are using the equivalent professional (i.e. not free) edition at my company.
Not sure about VS2013, but I like VS2012 way more than VS2008. There are certain things which just work a little better.
For instance, you can hold CTRL and scroll to change text size.
You can hold ALT and drag your mouse vertically to type on multiple lines at once.
There is also limited C++11 support in VS2012. I don't like to use it, because I'd rather have a compiler which supports the whole package before incorporating any of it. Then there is no question when you share your source code with other people and they want to compile.
These two options were the main reason why I use Notepad++ in parallel with VS2008. Now I don't really need Notepad++ anymore.
Forget the compile & run one, but look in the "Build" menu or "Project" menu, you should find it there. I don't have VS installed on this machine so I can't tell you off the top of my head but I think it's CTRL+F7 or CTRL+F5