a problem has been encountered while loading the setup components
So as I research this issue, which seems very common, it seems to be a common theme that people who have patched VS.Net 2008 are having trouble running it's setup. One solution has you install Visual Studio SP1, which I proceeded to install only for it to freeze in the middle.
Next I decided I would just remove the existing hotfixes and patches I have installed for Visual Studio 2008 and then try to add/remove programs for VS.Net 2008. This worked, I proceeded to remove VB, C++ and database environment.
Finally I was able to apply SP1 to VS.Net 2008, which forced me to reboot.
For those looking to speed up VS.Net a little bit you can try the tips from the following site which seemed to slightly improve the responsiveness for me: dotnettipoftheday.org
Next I went back into VS.Net 2008 setup to remove some components and removed the following: Enterprise Tools, Dotfuscator Community Edition, Tools for Redistributing Applications, Team Developer and Tester Tools, Team Database Edition and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (actually this was already unchecked).
I then went into add/remove programs and removed: Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component and the header files (option below I think). Beware of this however because when I did this I was no longer able to select "Add or Remove Features" within VS.Net setup, my guess is I'd have to 'repair' it first.
These are some of the reasons that Java's Eclipse IDE is so widely popular (in and out of the Java community) because it gives you more granular control over your environment, it's plugins and updates. This is also why many people, including myself, prefer to have our unit testing and build tools to run outside of the environment.
Heres to one day having a robust C# & ASP.Net plugin for Eclipse.