I just looked at pages 7 and 8 of the thread, no time to read everything, but here are my two bits:
Compare IT 4.0 for comparing two files side by side.
chmZoomer to zoom chm files. They are sometimes to small for my weakening eyes.
I usually google for programs that fit one or more special needs. If they work, I buy them. And if I need something really special, I will never trade a good program for almost as good freeware, just because it is free.
The most special programs, alas, are from two donationcoder members, who programmed them just for ME and after my specifications. You can't get more special than that.