I have spent a long time searching for a product that would bring functionality similar to matplotlib to the .NET framework. From what I can tell, nothing really measures up. Is this an accurate assessment? Here is what I have found:
I think it would be tremendously valuable to have a .NET project which provided the ability to interactively plot data from languages like F# and IronPython. Does anyone know of such a project?
You could also look at F# for Visualization, I've got the beta and it's quite good for some basic stuff - not (yet) so good if you want more control over the presentation.
Another possibility (which I haven't tried at all yet, but I intend to soon) is Microsoft Chart Controls (previously known as Dundas...), which have been released independently of SQL Server. There's an article here about using them from F# - as you will see from the example code, you have more control over presentation, but it comes at a price...
UPDATE I did end up trying the Microsoft Chart Controls, and to be honest, it blows F# for Visualization out of the water (sorry Jon!). However, Luca Bolognese has gone a step further and made a very usable wrapper. The paint is still wet, but it's definitely worth a try.