I'm not familiar with the other products people have mentioned, but I've been using Dreamweaver since version 4 and for professional web development, I wouldn't think of using anything else. The initial cost is a wall, but if you are doing serious development, the up front cost is well worth it.
* Remember. IMHO, if you are going to be doing REAL web design, you are going to really need to learn XHTML and CSS well. I can't comment about other products, but I really hardly EVER look at design view. I code and then refresh the page in the browsers -- design view get too messy.
And as an aside, I don't use any of DW's "fany" plugins or code-models (e.g. like using their widgets for mysql/php -- I still code all of that by hand). I do use the spry menus which I've found to be generally very reliable over the years.
That's my 2cents, hope it's helpful.
Some could argue that they don't like the .DWT idea, but I've used it forever and it's always worked well (and that's not to say that includes aren't another approach).
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I use Dreamweaver CS5 on Win7 x64, You can download a 30 day trial off their website.
I have to agree with Rangy, most of dreamweavers plugins create inefficient, bad practice code, especially the php/mysql addon, that is just terrible!
I know you said free.. but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative I would recommend Coffee Cup's HTML Editor software. I think it runs about $50? You get free upgrades for life and free support for life also.
I use Dreamweaver but I also use the Coffee Cup HTML Editor and I really like it!