Recently public betas for the next version of Visual Studio.NET Orcas (v9.0) were made available. It is possible to get hold of the free Express versions.
You can download Visual C++ Orcas here. And all the other Express versions can be accessed here.
The C++ compiler with Orcas is a bug fix of the one available with v8.0 (fixing over 180 bugs). The new rewritten compiler will be available in the version after Orcas.
The Visual C++ Team Blog can be read here.