A few years ago I used to work within a small group that had established a system that consisted of
- dev box
- ssh to dev box
- shared screen session
- every developer had a virtual screen within the same screen session
- with CVS
So I'd simply ssh into the dev box, reattach to the existing screen session, and hack away on the portion of the codebase I was working on. It made it simple to check on the others, by switching to their screens, or by checking the output of `ps` to see if anyone had backgrounded vim processes. This coupled with the version control worked out pretty well. I think the fact that the group was small, we all seemed to share the big picture, and the closeness of personalities helped the most, however. This also enabled us to try paired programming.
Maybe it wasn't the "BEST" development environment, but I enjoyed it a lot.
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic."