I absolutely agree with your request and I liked your Xamarin/Arduino comparison, the contrast is huge between them. A few month ago I tried to figure out how to set up and use an IDE. I wanted to try Visual Studio with Python (IronPython) since I have some experience with that language. It was a nightmare and eventually I give up. After reading your post I realized the key is not the programming language, but a self-explanatory, easy to use IDE – just like the one of Arduino boards.
After a few month neglect I’d like to play with my EV3 again. Do you have any suggestion where to start? I am thinking of trying leJOS/Eclipse. What do you think?