Visual Assist X is insanely useful just for the navigation, commenting etc. functionality. If the Express version of VS can't use plugins, that is a major ding against it, and the Express version is nowhere near as good as the non-Express version. Lack of profiling is bad too.
I'm taking my first steps in learning Qt so I've just started using QtCreator. My first reaction is that it feels pretty nice, not clunky like Eclipse. Have not yet used it for C++, but I have a feeling it might end up being nicer to work in than VS Express. Especially so if the vi editing mode works nicely, but I haven't tried it yet. Qt itself is very good for getting something useful done in C++ and that would be a point in favor of using QtCreator.
That said: I would generally recommend someone getting into C or C++ to start with no IDE, and initially just use an editor, GCC and make so they get a concrete understanding of how the C and C++ compilation and linking process goes.
Edited by Stroppy Katamari, 06 January 2013 - 07:01 AM.