Overview of Expression - Brad Becker Splitview and XamlPad are included in the WinFx SDK. You can use them to create the Xaml by hand, but I would stay away if you can and go with Expression! It is way too verbose to be editing by hand. Expression allows you to design the application like you would with any graphics program and open that same project in VS.
Cool thing about Expression is that it is built on top of WPF so it utilizes all the dynamic positioning an resizing made available for free.
Definitely check out the Expression demos on ms.com to learn more.
Developing a Better UX with Atlas - Skanku Niyogi The take aways for me where how easy it is to implement the asyn call pings with the <atlas:Timer control. The ProfileScript and DragOverlay extenders are definitely going to be a big help - and only take a few mins to hookup.
Developing a Windows Presentation Foundation Application - Filipe Fortes
WinFx includes VS project types and sets up your environment for you, gives you intellisense when coding the Xaml by hand (though I still recommend Expression) and allows you to easily run within IE.
One cool aspect of WPF is that you can include your own font files in the project which are shipped with the product. That way you always know that the end user will see the app the same way that you do and the user doesn’t have to download the font if they don’t have it installed locally.
Heading out to the TAO party!