Many of us don't have a choice but a Windows environment, be it XP, 2k3, W2k8, W7. If you are working for a company that is a Windows shop, you have few options and probably not supported by IT.
One can install Linux/OpenSolaris/QNX/BSD on a virtual machine to enjoy the fun offered by this operating systems. Another option would be to use Cygwin. Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows, for more information please visit their website.
I normally configure my Cygwin installation with the following packages installed:
- Base package (default selection)
This selection makes me comfortable [happy :)] in any Windows enviroment (ease of use and power of Windows + power of Linux/Unix tools).