Why not the latest version? By the time your done learning C++, you'll be on VS 2016 anyway.
By the way, Visual Studio is free - you don't have to get it from Dream Spark. The "Express" edition of Visual Studio is fully-featured and completely unhindered, even for commercial software.
The limitations of Visual C++ Express 2012 are: (from wikipedia)
- No resource editor.
- No built-in MFC support.
- No built-in ATL support.
- No profiling support.
- No support for OpenMP.
- No support for add-ins or IDE macros.
- No option for crash dump generation (Debug->Save Dump As).
6 out of 7 you probably won't use for the first two years of your programming anyway. 5 out of 7 you might not use for the first five years of programming. Some you might never use. The Express version is perfectly fine for most needs.
Edited by Servant of the Lord, 03 January 2013 - 10:27 PM.