Vista was the biggest waste of 120$. It didn't finally start to become stable until right before I got this win7 laptop. Every 3 - 5 months I had to reload Vista (it taught me to make regular backups). I only keep my old machine around because it's the first real nice case mod I did. Eventually I'll gut it and upgrade the mobo/cpu and the godawful os.
It was still better than XP when there was no Windows 7, in my honest opinion. Hardware just wasn't up to par at the time and it was writing to disk a lot. After SP1, it is still slower than 7, but not as bad as some would suggest..
after neumerous installations and sp2 I have grown increasingly tollerant of vista , on a laptop where I finally did get windows 7 ultimate installed but then got nervous and returned to vista ,chicken you say , well I don,t like windows 7 it looks cheap,and in some ways oriental ha haaaaar, I am kind of tired of the slowness of the system but you can turn off uac and other services,anyway I am ok with vista now