Having now spent a fair amount of time with the “full” version of CodeRush + Refactor, I thought it best to give a sort of conclusion as to my experiences with it.
Overall, my experiences are largely very positive, particularly around the general, frequently used refactorings – little features like being able to hold ALT to move to the next word in a symbol, or the “expanding” selection using NUMLOCK + / –, are excellent and I quickly miss them when using a non-CR . Many of them help keep your code clean, and generally they save time. There’s a very, very good summary of the main features of the full CR package here.
However, my original concerns still remain with respect to some of the features. The code templates, whilst very useful, still gets in the way more often than I would like, because it sometimes overrides intellisense when you don’t want it to i.e. if you press space to select the current intellisense suggestion, you often find that CR has “stolen” the suggestion and replaced it with a code template of its own. I ended up changing the shortcut for templates from space as I got too frustrated with it.
I also found the banner / help watermarks generally annoying and quickly turn them all off – I suppose each to their own, but for me they’re a definite no-no – especially the abnormally giant “build failed” that you get if you try to run unit tests using the CR test runner.
Code Analysis is generally quite useful – some of the rules I find overly strict and turn off but others are good to have as a failsafe, and it doesn’t hurt to have them on I suppose.
Despite the above misgivings, CodeRush overall is excellent. There’s a good support system in place, and an extensible engine which allows new plugins to be written (although the only one I downloaded never did work for me…). But it’s the little things that do it for me – things like underlining colors with a link to a colour picker, or the super-fast “live” renaming of symbols, or the streamlined reorder parameter refactor etc. etc. As such, a number of these features do live within CodeRushExpress, and I’d recommend using that rather than nothing at all – but the full CodeRush does indeed have many more features and refactorings such that I would notice the difference without it.
You have to invest the time in using it – watch the videos at a pace that you consume and retain the information, or use the CodeRush live helper window – but as a productivity tool, it’s an excellent way to save time (and therefore dollar bread).
Highly recommended (and at the risk of getting flamed, highly recommended ten times over Resharper, which on the rare occasions that I’ve had to use it, I’ve hated it with a passion).