I have created a new SharePoint wsp and it has been successfully deployed, but when I searched for the compiled component in the GAC, it was nowhere to be seen. Huh?
The simple solution is that the GAC is .net 1.0 - 3.5 is not the same as the GAC in .net 4.0+.
The old GAC is the trusted location c:\windows\assembly
The new GAC resides in c:\windows\microsoft.net\assembly
It was there after all - it helps when you look for the file in the right place.