working interactively on win32

A little roll reversal today. Rather than you asking me how to use
matplotlib interactively on win32, I'll ask you...

The reason: a former adviser of mine is teaching a biomath course, and
is using python with Numeric and matplotlib for the computational
part. Almost all of his students are windows XP users, and are
struggling a little bit with the impoverished command shell. I've
recommended ipython to them, and sent a zip file with all the prereqs,
but even this may be a bit much for some typical windows users who
came of age in the post DOS era -- for one thing they still need a
code editor.

Is anyone using matplotlib robustly a GUI IDE in win32? By robustly,
I mean, generating plots from the command shell and files, editing the
files with an integrated editor, running them from there,
interactively opening and closing windows, switching between command
line interaction and file mode, without crashes and freezes?

If so, please advise, with info about your configuration and

idle was my first inclination, despite the fact that it is rather
impoverished GUI, but with all the recent matplotlib changes in
tkagg's PYTHONINSPECT setting with or w/o idle -n I am not sure how
robust it is currently.