I think he is facing the issue that it is not that trivial if you are not used to C to actually get the libraries properly included. And then maybe he just does not like the libraries. I have somewhat mixed feelings with them.
Pro: Great for prototyping and get something going
Con: Like any library, once you have specific needs and want more you have to decide to roll your own or to patch the existing stuff.
Pro: If you deal with the libraries you can contribute.
Con: If you even have the faintest plan on commercializing your code you have to deal with the licences.
Having said that, here are my small contribution to working without the IDE:
You may want a convenient commandline substitute for the monitoring functionality. I messed a little bit with putty but now I find the following short script more convenient for my purposes. Of course it can only read, but that's what I need currently. It's main advantage is that it is ultra simple and can be adapted easily to anything I need.
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
if len(sys.argv) != 3:
print "Please specify a port and a baudrate, e.g. %s /dev/ttyUSB0 19200" % sys.argv
ser = serial.Serial(sys.argv, sys.argv)