Yeah, I'm continually annoyed by Microsoft Windows and thoroughly underwhelmed by a number of their "innovations," but so far, I'm really quite impressed with ASP.NET. I've built a couple of small applications that took surprisingly less time to implement than I expected. It helps that I had recently dove into Java development and finally sort of "get" OOP. Since ASP.NET is OO and entirely event-driven, it really takes a lot of work out of building useful web sites. Yes, it can also be used to write Windows applications, but I'm not interested in that.
Anyway, you ought to check out their MSDN site and download their free Visual Web Developer Express. It can't do everything Visual Studio can, but it will let you create cool ASP.NET applications. Don't have a Windows box? Got an Intel-based Mac? Get Parallels Desktop and run XP. That can serve ASP.NET (you just have to install IIS manually) and run the Visual Studio tools quite nicely.
So, don't call me a "hater." I like Microsoft's products when (and only when) they're superior in some way to what's available. I still dislike their monopolistic, proprietary tendencies, but they can also be pretty magnanimous at times. They just have to be convinced it's in their best (business) interest to do so. ASP.NET is good stuff, and it's one reason I'll recommend more Windows in our server closet and developer's desks (OS X is still my first recommendation for non-developers).