I do a lot of bouncing between cygwin and Windows command shell, and I always end up in pain from miscellaneous space and/or parenthesis issues (MS you really killed me with "Program Files (x86)"). What's the best/easiest way to just rename these directories to drop the spaces and/or parens?
Symbolic links in cygwin can help fix this:
ln -s /cygdrive/c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\) /ProgramFilesx86
Learn to use Windows "short names". For example, the short name for "Program Files" is PROGRA~1 and "Documents and Settings" is DOCUME~1.
dir /x" to see short names.
In Windows you could create a softlink to the directory, using a desired short name, which in reality points to the real destination. Windows 7, and I think Vista, has this capability built in. Similar functionality can be added to XP via the Junction software.