An advice to Microsoft toolchain users. Embrace what they churn out these past years. ASP.NET MVC, Entity Framework, Code-first EF(i.e. model-centric coding, not to be confused with designer), jQuery(not made by Microsoft, but now has a blessing from them). They deliver nice technologies way very late, it's a disservice to your skillset if you will not quickly learn these enabling technologies. Microsoft is already late, don't let yourself be late with Microsoft's latest technology.
MonoRail 2003 vs ASP.NET MVC 2007
NHibernate 2004 (Hibernate 2001) vs Entity Framework 2008
See? how long before Microsoft "legitimizes" certain technologies to the eyes of many Microsoft tools-using devs. And what's the year now? 2011. Hiding in the cave?
Use 21st-century techniques Don't lag behind, leave ASP.NET use ASP.NET MVC, leave ADO.NET use ORM and don't use sp-centric programming, not everyone are going gaga over sp, look at your Java counterpart devs, their DBA trusted them on touching the base tables, binding the ORM directly to tables, could it be that Java devs are DBA-grade application developers? and as such are more amenable and trusted on using ORM, hmm.. :-)
Start embracing the five pillars of maintainable software: ORM, the MVC pattern, unit testing, mocking, IoC.