I have just downloaded vs 2008 c++ express edition and was able to compile the Template.csx plugin
Here are my steps
Install visual studio
Install DDK - I have instaled this to c:\WinDDK
download plugin sdk
Open the visual studio vc9 solution for the tempate plugin
Now in the Project -> Template SDK properties
set Configuration: to All Configurations
and "C:\WinDDK\7600.16385.0\inc\mfc42" to the c++ -> general -> additional include directories
The order of the above is important... atl71 needs to be first
add "C:\WinDDK\7600.16385.0\inc\mfc42" to the resource->general-> additional include directories
Configuration - general -Use of MFC: use MFC in a shared dll
"C:\WinDDK\7600.16385.0\lib\ATL\i386" to the linker->general->additional link libraries
batch build: release win32 and runtime win32
goto ../../IDE and copy the plugins folder to your construct plugins and the Template plugin is ready for a test run.
This needs to be wikified.
Also, if you have Construct in the program folders, you need to run the compiler with admin permissions so it can write there. And if you registered VS9 Express as a normal user, it'll ask for registration AGAIN when run as an admin. Whee!!! (solution: install Construct as a dev copy in a user folder)
This means that yes, I got it to compile.