I started using Visual Basic around VB6 and as much as it was the "standard" for Windows development at the time, I always found PowerBASIC to be much more powerful and easier to code in as well as producing tight, easy to distribute code.
The support team is, bar none, the best of any company I have ever had dealings with. As for their peer forums, it is a source of rich content, incredibly intelligent programmers (some of the best I have had to the pleasure to communicate with), and amazing personalities in the best sense of the term.
Simple "newb" requests are not received with disdain but with heartfelt welcome and help. For such a powerful, business quality compiler company they sure make the place feel like home.
George W. Bleck