Shout it from the rooftops! ClickOnce is in Express!!
Grab the new October Tech Preview (VB edition http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/vbasic/, scroll to the bottom and click the first link under headlines). Of course, considering that we are still fixing bugs on this internally (it mostly works now) don't be surprised if it's not perfect but at least you know it'll be there! It should work great in our next Beta release.
Once our bug load calms down (have to hit zero by next Friday, of course we'll bounce back up) I'll do some more posts about what you can and can't do as a hobbiest with Express and ClickOnce. Short story: apps that run with the Internet zone permissions are your friend.