Why not use Windows 7?? I use Windows Vista and have been using it since it's release.. I still like Vista alot but I do have to admit Windows 7 kicks the sh!t out of Vista in almost every way imagineable...
I'll definitely be buying a full retail copy of Windows 7 Ultimate once it's on the shelves but I'll also continue to use Vista (and XP for that matter) alongside Windows 7 (triple boot configuration) long after 7's release... It all depends on what you do with your comp really.. If it's just an email/random surfing computer than Win 7 might not be something you "need" to have.. but if your more into gaming, media applications, web design, things like that (things that rely heavily on a rock solid OS in other words) than Windows 7 in my opinion would suit you much better than Windows Vista..
But like I say, to each his own really... though 7 looks very similar to Vista, don't let that fool you.. Windows 7 is far superior to Windows Vista AND Windows XP.. (this has been proven by benchmark after benchmark, both real world and synthetic.)
Here's one of MANY comparisons between Vista and Win 7 (This one focuses on graphics benchmarks)
Vista WAS a dog on older machines -- W7 is definitely faster etc.
We should be glad that Vista WAS a dog - otherwise we wouldn't be discussing W7 at all now.
I'll be keeping XP around for a good while as well (probably on a Virtual Machine) as I have soome Minidisc gear which only works with XP / W2K -- For the "IPOD" generation who have never used Minidiscs -- great RECORDING machines for gigs and for Photo journalism work out in the field where you need rugged equipment, and unlimited supply of media. Those Solid state fixed recorders are no good if you need to use and archive a lot of recordings and the other sort which have those tiny SD (or even smaller) solid state interchangeable cards are totally impracticable out in the field in gales / other bad weather (or in a battlezone such as Iraq with gunfire going off around you. They can also play back music at extremely high quality as well and are still used a lot in professional situations.
I've also a high quality film negative scanner and an old HP Plotter which only work on XP. These devices will NEVER have drivers on VISTA or W7 so keeping an XP virtual machine for these makes a lot of sense. You only need to "Dual Boot" if the Virtual Hardware doesn't work such as making Video recordings but for most people legacy devices run quite nicely on a Virtual machine.
I never tried Vista --- too many horror stories. So I went straight from XP to Win 7.
I found the transition to be somewhat painful, mainly because Win 7 seems to have introduced yet another level of abstraction. Give me a street address and I'll find it. But you tell me to turn right at the fire hydrant, I'll get lost.
However, I must admit that my 3DMark06 scores are 10% higher on Win 7 than on XP (Dell M6300 Precision).
in the Pro arena (Photogs, PJ's and musicians it's still alive and kicking - for example TASCAM recorders etc -- studio quality gear). It has virtually but not quitedisappeared from the "Domestic Consumer Market" however. London's Tottenham Court Road ( Electronic Heaven for those who've never visited London) still has loads of Electronic shops selling this stuff.
A PJ (Photo Journalist) usually HATES the newer solid state recorders -- ever tried changing a tiny Micro XD type card in the middle of a howling gale. A Minidisc is just about the optimum physical size for handling in these type of situations.
However the Minidisc format is a topic for another forum.