Web design and dev certainly has its high and low moments, that's for sure. Haha.
IE is last on my browser compatibility checklist, especially the older versions. As you mentioned, countless hours can be squandered chasing stupid IE bugs and unexplainable behavior. Typically I'm happy with cross-browser support for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and maybe a few others. The newer versions of IE have actually come leaps and bounds, so it's not always a total hackjob to get them to play nice, but there are still some aggravating issues. Though, as I fancy myself more of a web designer and marketer than a developer, I often leave a lot of that to my business partner. He's quite adept at dealing with those headaches. :)
Now I'm curious, what type of dev are you into? We're always on the lookout for folks to subcontract out our overflow work to, but it sounds like you're not in the web dev realm any longer...?