I've used vista for... what, a year now? Since I got my laptop? Something like that. It took me that long for me to find a real reason to hate it -- I've found four different places you need to tweak to adjust your startup items. So far.
But don't you find it slow?
Not particularly. It's rather tedious on boot, but it's not much slower than my work computer running a streamlined XP image where the hardware is half the size of this machine. I also don't run Aero, which is pretty but fundamentally useless as well as being a complete resource hog.
Isn't it crash-prone?
Mine isn't. It took 9 months to find my first BSOD, and 10 months for my first freeze, both of which seem to have been related to a bursting-full hd. (bad nerd, no cookie.) It's still the second-least-crashy system I've ever used, first being a very contented Ubuntu. Besides, it's a micro$oft product. If you stare at it long enough, it'll crash. That's just the nature of the beast.
Don't the security popups make you crazy?
Not really. I've used linux systems that force you to not run as root. And you can turn most of that off, if you like. Mostly, you're just spoiled.
I don't game like that. Sorry.
Well, yeah. I have a factory install, so neener. AND it pulled a p-n-p on an audio interface I have that I could never get to work on any other computer, period.
It's fucking annoying!
Yes, yes it is. In attempting to be idiot-proof, it moved a lot of shit around to where old windows users can't find it, and put everything else in non-intuitive places. Luckily, the system search is damned good, so you need to just chill out and let the computer fetch that app you can't find (a surprisingly difficult adaptation to make).
I would fear and loath upgrading a computer to Vista, because that sounds just super-scary. But, pre-installed on a new box, with a willingness to not be a cranky old fart and tweak your system, like youv'e done with every other OS you've ever had, it's not so bad.