Acquia Dev Desktop is a quick and easy way to get your drupal site up and running quickly. Its easy to recommend to other developers who are just starting out with Drupal. Even now, I'll use it on my own projects since it is easy to work with. But what if I want to use my own version of Drush?
I am a big fan of the Display Suite module. Its quite flexible and gets you up and running with a look/feel fairly quickly. One of my favourite features of Display Suite is that you can create various build modes so that they can power your views or results or have then get used in a various areas of your site. Find out how I keep things speedy through the use of the Entity Cache module with Drush.