cygwin java jdk make build ant on Windows

As a somewhat motivated newb, I spent some 10 hours installing subversion, mercurial, and interfaces, downloading Arduino and XmegaDuino repositories, downloading Cygwin and all dependencies, downloading Java JDK, and ANT. Did lots of troubleshooting, registry cleaning, path and environment variable setting in the end.....Arduino fails out and so does Xmegaduino. >:( It's obvious that Windows XP can't be the native way the core developers are building this stuff. I want to hear from the experts. How do you set your machine up for development, what OS, etc.

Development of what? For Arduino sketches, the standard IDE is good enough for me.

For other stuff, I use Visual Studio for development and ClearCase for configuration management.