Active Directory *is* easier to set up than OpenLDAP, but if that's the only reason for using AD over OpenLDAP, then the decision-making process needs work, IMHO ;-)
AD is different from just about every other LDAP implementation in existence, so when I say "LDAP", I'm careful to separate that from anything having to do with AD, because it's different (surprise!).
There's no reason you can't develop against AD, though - it's just another (non-standard, ms-specific) schema is all. BTW - you can send queries to AD (or any ldap server) using IE (if you like that kind of thing). This is one plugin I can't find for firefox/mozilla, which is ironic since the same company gave birth to the code that later became Sun ONE Directory server, Netscape Server, and now Fedora Directory server.
Oh yeah, I also forgot to copy in the link to the Java LDAP browser in my last post --> http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/~gawor/ldap/