Cheers Grey Wolf.
Really appreciate your help.
I considered Eclipse and had never seen NetBeans.
I prefer these both over MS visual studio as I would like to make code that can easily stretch over platforms.
I use Eclipse+CDT. Just working on a project now which is 20k lines of code, all was developed under windows and compiled first time under Linux :) It's good have an IDE I can use on multiple platforms.
Hey Zaita and QWERTYman
thanks for your help. Is great having professionals around that know what they are on about. For starters, I will try eclipse. That seems to be a good choice from what I have head. Basically, I have been programming in PHP for 4 years now after taking a break from beginners C++ and now I want to get back into it. I dig Linux big time and want whatever I develop to work across platforms so interoperability is important to me.
@muzoid: MingW, It's a Windows port of GCC. Good because your code will be easier to cross-compile if you use it. Once you get your head around the basics of Eclipse it is a very powerful IDE. My most preferred.
@cabmail: There is life outside of Microsoft. You should really move away from Visual Studio 6, as Microsoft no longer really supports the MFC components.
@george135: While I use VS every day. I wouldn't say "nothing can beat it". It's a good IDE, But there are definitely alot of things I would like to fix with it. It's not as used in major companies as you think, trust me :)
However, It does have a large following. But this is not because of the quality of the product. This is because Universities pay (almost)nothing for Microsoft Products, so it's less hassle for them (and perceived better value) to use a cheap commercial product, then to use a free open source product. Plus, Tutors are not the best people for pushing the bounds of technology when teaching. They prefer to play it safe for funding issues.
Personally, I prefer to use Eclipse for my C++ work over Visual Studio. But as I said, I use VS daily for C# development too and it's not bad.