Glad to hear you have done some assembly stuff, that is what it all comes down to, no matter what.
Now, what we want to hear is "what do you want to do".
We want to hear what is working and what is not working.
What is it you want to do? Why do you feel that assembly language is too difficult?
Be assured, higher level languages can do a lot for you, but sometimes they come with a trouble built in. As memory goes, it is cheap, and a bit larger PIC to hold a program from a high-level language is worth it, for what it gives you in functionality. But, it all depends on economy, if you are not building 100K of them, who cares.
As far as the programmer, most any programming environment will do a raw import of a hex file, all that I have seen do anyway.
What flavor of picbasic are you referring to? As I said above, related to high-level language, I have a bit of experience with PicBasicPro and it can chew up ROM quick.http://www.microengineeringlabs.com/
These guys also do a USB programmer (we have one) and it is just AWESOME, I have used it extensively and have had very little trouble at all, it just always works. One of the Best I have ever used.
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