I use various flavors of Linux but my primary system is Win 7 (the RC for now however I see Win 7 Home Premium OEM in the near future).
I agree with OP on many of the points he raised but thanks to info from folks like Terry Blount and others here I've managed to customize Win 7 to suit my needs.
Win 7 is fast to boot, a big plus for me as my machine is a notebook and I always shut it down when I'm finished using it.
Of course I'm far from a casual user (I do know the difference between a HDD and a video card).
Any casual user of XP will miss some of the features he/she has gotten used to from using XP and I think
this is what the OP had in mind when he posted his list.
Few casual users would be inclined to go to the lengths I and other users here would to optimize Win 7.
More's the pity.