IDE - v. RoR for new programmer?

FWIW I've used dot net and am currently learning Ruby/Rails. No simple
answer to your qns but you might want consider some other factors
besides IDEs etc (BTW - try Netbeans IDE for Ruby Rails - free and
pretty good but no page designer AFAIK). (or Ruby In Steel if you
have Visual Studio), Other things that I think are important:

  - type of app you are developing - dot net is much more corporate/
institutional; ruby/rails is more startup, open source etc.
- coding/languages - pick your poison here (Ruby vs VB or C#) (I
prefer Ruby/Python; Static vd Dynamically typed language). Be sure to
learn some Ruby coding before jumping into Rails.
- try writing and debugging a couple of small programs in both
languages and see which you prefer - I like the clean syntax of Ruby/
Python (no braces) vs C#. FWIW I think you can code faster in Ruby
once you get going - but there is a learning curve.
- perhaps most important - surrounding ecosystem (fellow coders,
support, community etc) for when you need help.
- maybe it's just me, but I get the sense that the dot net world is
more about business and definitely more corporate - Ruby/Rails is more
for the independent minded out there - more about coding for the fun
of it.
- Hosting - I think dot net hosting is (a little) more expensive than
Ruby/Rails/MySQL hosting - difference might be small - but with dot
net you may also need SQL Server hosting which adds a bit more
- other things you stand to learn - if you go with ruby chances are
you will pick up some cross platform skills with complementary
technologies (e.g. Linux, MySql etc.). With dot net you are more
likely to live in the Windows/Microsoft world. Nothing wrong with
that, but as a developer it's a good idea to have a variety of skills
vs a single Platform skill set.

Either way you won't go wrong - just do your homework and make an
informed decision. The big investment is your time.

Hope this helps,