Scott W and Early Adopter have discovered the WMI Management Extension for VS.NET 2003. This was available for VS.NET 2002 as well. One of the cool features is generating strongly typed classes for accessing WMI information.
There’s a similar Server Explorer extension for Active Directory. Unfortunately, it only works with VS.NET 2002 so far.
Not to leave the loosely coupled XML crowd out, there’s now Directory Service Markup Language (DSML) support for Active Directory. Includes a SOAP listener. Cool.