Thank you for remembering my Hamilton C shell.
But a correction, if I may: Hamilton C shell is not a port of anything. I wrote every line from scratch myself for this product and first released it in December 1988, about 7 months before Brian Fox released his bash shell. It's much, much faster than bash on Windows for several reasons. First, I have a better compiler front end; it's faster at parsing statements and generating an optimized internal representation. Second, it's still the only multi-threaded Unix-style shell in existence. Third, it's written explicitly for Windows. It goes straight to the underlying Win32 API for everything. I don't even use the C runtime anywhere performance counts. I definitely don't use a big slow DLL like Cygwin uses to try to map Unix system calls onto Windows.
Also, news for those who might have been interested but were concerned about cost: For personal use, it's now just $89 and that covers all your personal devices. There's also a fully functional free demo version.
I would wager that the big reason that folks liked Cygwin was due to the backing of it by RedHat, Inc. (RHI).
However, you're right, Cygwin is huge and horribly unwieldy.
The Hamilton C Shell and other command shells, such as 4NT and TakeCommand, (and PowerShell, of course) are far from unwieldy.
I first read about the Hamilton C Shell back in the early days of NT, and I was referring specifically to your NT port of the Shell.