CAML is the foundation of any good SharePoint developer and should be taught in kindergarten. CAML is really not hard, nor are views, but it does represent a different way of thinking.
Lots of tools make it easy to both generate and manipulate CAML, for instance U2U CAML Query Builder (http://www.u2u.info/SharePoint/U2U%20Community%20Tools/Forms/AllItems.aspx) or even SharePoint Manager 2007 (http://www.codeplex.com/spm), the latter is especially good for getting view and list CAML. Getting intellisense in VS is not easy, however, but you do have tools such as John Holliday’s CAML.net which basically gives you a somewhat cumbersome, but incredibly powerful method of doing CAML the old OO way (http://www.codeplex.com/camldotnet).
EDIT: Oh, don’t forget to check out my article on getting intellisense for CAML, at least for many parts of it: http://furuknap.blogspot.com/2008/04/intellisense-in-onet.html
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