First, I haven't used VS, so I can't make any comparisons.
There are lots of Linux IDE's, but which one is best is hard to say - manly because one would have to use them for a reasonable time before being able to comment.
There is an application framework called Qt, which has all kinds of technologies available, and it comes with it's own IDE - Qt Creator.
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Qt is cross platform, so you can have one set of code which can be compiled for various OS's - that is you can write code for which the executables will work on Windows & Mac & Linux. You can also write apps for phones amongst many other things.
I started out with KDevelop, which is quite a mature application, that can compile a variety of different languages like Fortran, Haskell, Java, assembler and dozens of others.
Then I started using Qt.
Recently I installed CodeBlocks & Eclipse, just to compare. CodeBlocks seemed to be good, but all software has it's good & bad points. For example in Eclipse, I like the way I can put a new class into a namespace, but overall I thought codeblocks was better.
In my mind, an IDE should have functionality to automate as much as possible the things that coders routinely do. For example, there should be a class wizard for making new classes, and it should have as many options as possible. It should handle inheritance, and automatically add constructors, copy constructors, assignment operators and member functions & variables. Also, when adding a new function in a header file, there should be a way for the software to automatically add a function stub in the .cpp file. So I am saying that the IDE should handle very well the basic things that one does all the time.
Other considerations might include the debugger and other tools.
So have a play with a few of them, see which one you like.
As far as software & Linux goes - there is tons of free stuff. Fedora has 20,000 free apps to download - I imagine it is similar for other distros like Ubuntu as well.
There are also things like Database software, like MySQL & PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is a full on, enterprise level Object Relational Databse Management System. It is of similar calibre to Oracle & DB2, that is entirely free. It can be used by PostGIS (also free), in case you want to do any Geographic Information System stuff. Such is the wonder of the Linux world.
I have 2 hard drives (500Gb each) in my Laptop, Linux on one, Windows on the other. I use GRUB2 as the boot loader, so I can choose which OS to boot. This is handy if I want to test different Linux distributions. I still have windows because I run AutoDesk Civil3D for work. But there are some pretty good CAD systems for Linux too. I will probably pay about $400-$700 to get the one I want, but it will have much more functionality than AutoCAD Lite, which, last I heard cost $1000.
Any way, hope this info is helpful to you.