I understand your frustration but we are actually trying to make this better!
The MiniProg you bought when PSoC Designer came out is a MiniProg 1. With the introduction of PSoC 3 and 5, and the addition of the JTAG interface, we had to develop a new programmer tool. This is the brand-new MiniProg3 and it can program all PSoC parts (so its functionality is a superset of MiniProg1).
The MiniProg3 is included, for convenience, in the PSoC Developers Kit (CY8CKIT-001) but you can also buy it separately in the PSoC® MiniProg3 Program and Debug Kit (CY8CKIT-002). It is here: http://www.cypress.com/?rID=38154.
We realize that buying another programming box is a pain BUT, because it uses the JTAG interface, you also get debugging through the same MiniProg. You do not need to get the ICE Cube for PSoC 3 or PSoC 5 (you still need it for PSOC 1 though).
Great just another $90. So now to move to the future, 3 and 5, I buy a new toolset and am "stuck" with about $500 worth of equipment that is no longer used such as the ice cube, two compilers and miniprogs out the wazoo.
I'm still in, since this is the only game in town, but don't do it again. :-)
We do hope not to do this for a while! When you factor in all the related costs, we do not make money on MiniProg3 sales!
There are a lot of new goodies on this platform that could simply not be supported by an ICE-based debugger and an M8 CPU. Sorry for the new costs but remember that the new compiler is free (Keil on PSoC 3 and GNU on PSoC 5) and that you get a MiniProg3 with the Developer's Kit.
I have gone down the PSoC way because I love the embedding Analogue, Digital, and ARM Cortex -M3 together.
questions I have include:
if I buy: a CY8CKIT-002 kit with MiniProg3, will I have enough hardware bits and pieces to debug the PSoC5 I bought with a CY8CKIT-014 starter kit?
item 2: can I use my Windows 7 64 bit machine for this work?
The PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit (CY8CKIT-014) can debug the target PSoC 5 chip by itself, you shouldn't need a MiniProg3. You should be able to launch the debugger from PSoC Creator with just the FirstTouch Kit connected to the PC. If you wanted to debug a PSoC 5 device that's on your own board (or any board that's not the PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit) then you would need a MiniProg3. Do you have a PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit already? If so, are you having trouble using the debugger?
Second question, yes you can use a Windows 7 64-bit machine. Here is a link that shows PSoC Creator's system requirements: http://www.cypress.com/?rID=39551. You can see that the PC can run Windows 7, XP or Vista (32- or 64-bit).