Jeff, thanx I thought it was something like that.
Anyway there is alot of good reasons to use 3rd party software, but on the other hand alot of reasons not to use it.
My experience with 3rd party software when it comes to userinterface like custom controls, is that I just dont use it. Often I tend to use too much time looking into how the control works, instead of the time used writing my own. Often they do 123 billion things, but just cant do what I want. Often the effort used to styling the control is insane, compared to … “it is actually only html, not assembly it generates”. Maybe it is because I still use vs2003, but the webform designer is just dosent work for me ( does it work at all?). I dont want to customize every control on every page if only 2-3 properties are changed. Not everything can be done in a stylesheet and not every 3rd party control is styled.
On the other hand, I use some 3rd party software to create things like PDF reports and stuff. And in that case it works fine, because I can just call a method on a wrapper class that does something like PDFGenerate.CreatePdf(template, output, etc ) and nothing else is touched by that.
Maybe it is just me, but I think the problem is that I dont like the way the asp.net or windows forms architecture is build. I love the .net framwork, love C# and VB.Net. But with asp.net I dont think that the controls make everything better. Maby your problem is not if you remembered to close your bold tag, but instead some validation, event handling, binding, viewstate, etc problem.