I upgraded my wifes
Netbook to Windows 8, verdict don't upgrade a Laptop with screen resolution of 1024 x 600 or less, the New Apps style interface will not work.
Disappointed as the lay out and speed and ease of use is quite good, a little different from XP and Win 7 but usable. Basically they have made an operating system that will run on older machines and for there new Surface Tablet / touch screen Laptops but there software will not support small screens (it will run on Netbooks but you will not get the full experience that Win 8 has to offer).
Microsoft assume everybody in the world will have the latest Hi Res screens, big mistake not supporting small Netbooks considering there popularity.
I will be keeping Win 7 on my Laptop even though mine will support the full Win 8 software not really worth the upgrade for an existing machine.
Save your money and wait until you upgrade you laptop and you will have Win 8 installed anyway.
In my own opinion, you'll want Visual Studio 2012 at some point down the road anyways for the numerous features and performance boosts that it gives you. Part of development is adapting to technology as it progresses, depending on what you do, but that is the way it is for me.
Windows 7 is still perfectly fine though if you choose not to upgrade, just make sure that you meet all the requirements when and if you do choose to upgrade later on.