Here is my experience so far (after using it for a few hours)
- UI is nice. Lots of eye candy, Aero interface is a bit blingy but effective. Decently organized. Lots of options for different views.
- Boot time is OK for me (my old XP machine took about 45 seconds to boot up, the new one takes about 30)
- Ubiquitous search boxes are neat.
- Sidebar is neat.
- Lots of built in goodies like scan/fax, system backup.
- The User Account Control thing, the box that comes up and asks you "are you sure" for every little thing is annoying. I appreciate the added security, but I am tempted to turn it off.
- If I ran Windows XP on this machine, I bet it would boot in like 20s.
I also heard that much of my old software would not work in Vista. Not true, so far all this stuff seems to be working fine:
- WordPerfect Office 12 SP1 (but SP2 won't install!) I may break down and upgrade to the latest WP Office anyway.
- Microsoft Office XP
- Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 (with patch)
- FireFox 3.0
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Antivir Free Antivirus
- Quicken 2007 (with patch)
- Roxio Media Creator 10
- Apple iTunes
- Epson Smart Panel (don't care, Vista has nice built-in scanning functions anyway)
- WP 12 SP2 won't install.