That's a great question and thanks for kicking things off! Spyder is a great tool and I actually recorded a clip of the basics that I eventually cut from the intro video (it was something similar to this).
(If you're a python beginner, don't worry if the following doesn't make much sense; this is really more of an intermediate topic).
Unfortunately, you can't run iolite's API in some other program like PyCharm as iolite is really a C++ program with a python interface (rather than a collection of python packages).
Regarding debugging and developing in iolite: we've also been adding features to the Python Workspace regularly (and would probably have added more if we hadn't been busy with 3D Trace Elements etc recently). However, I should be realistic and say that it will never be as developed as something like PyCharm which has a whole specialised team behind it that just makes IDEs.
That said, Joe and I will be showing you how we use iolite v4 to develop all the plugins we've made. It isn't as flash as Spyder or PyCharm, but you can still get things done quickly and easily, once you know how. 😉