I actually can't think of very many IDE's that are not free except Visual Studio Professional, intel makes various tool packages with can get expensive. There are lots of free IDE's and stand alone tools though. I would suggest to not waste your money at this point in time.
As far as compilers go, you have options. GCC and clang are both free. I believe Microsoft's compiler is also free. Intel makes a nice expensive compiler.
An IDE is an integrated development environment. It brings together many tools , like compiler, linker, debugger, text editor, etc, to be controlled by one graphical user interface. The compiler is just one of the part that turns your source code into a runnable program. Most IDE's will let you use the compiler of your choice. I think Visual Studio doesn't let you choose, but I could be wrong. Visual Studio, as far as I know is popular for it's debugger. I'm not sure what else it has (significantly) on other IDE's ( edit maybe profilers, integration with certain things like CUDA's nsight development package, ...).
I haven't used any non-free IDE's except Visual Studio Professional, but it was a free student version (you're not supposed to use it for commercial use).
Now days, I just use code::blocks with MinGW gcc on Windows. I might start using Visual Studio again when 2013 comes out. I doubt I'll be buying the pro version any time soon. Maybe when I graduate from College I will?
The Visual Studio Resource Editor provides a reasonable level of support for editing of small bitmaps and resources which use them, i.e. icons, cursors, and toolbars.
But not 3D scene creation.
Edit Until Visual Studio 2012
If you're trying to something slick then I guess you would use a more advanced tool. But the Visual Studio resource editor is better than Paint for icons, cursors, toolbars, and small bitmaps as it's better geared up for small images.