about hardware at this point is that new computers with new motherboards (and older..although relatively new) cases that you might use to build your own) will have mobos that have done away with IDE controllers, floppy drive controllers, serial ports, parallel ports and 50% of the PCI slots (in addition to doing away with AGP video card slots...going with PCIExpress instead), so that you end up having to replace every piece of hardware currently being used that are still perfectly good and in working condition.
I have two mobos that have four IDE controllers and three to four SATA controllers in addition to seven PCI slots....and every single port and slot is being used. Five harddrives (three SATA with one SATA controller still available and two IDE) plus two DVD-cdrw drives. A serial port can be used for an older mouse or even a hardware external dial up modem....a parallel port can be used for either a printer or a scanner or both.
If you have to go entirely to USB devices rather than be able to continue to use your older but still dependable devices, you will need at least five or six USB ports...or you have to use up one of the three PCI slots those new mobos give you to install an additional USB port card. Now add in a dial up modem into another PCI slot and you have one left. Have your onboard sound go south on you or not be adequate and you want a better sound card, there goes your last PCI slot. There isn't any more option to put in a Promise IDE controller for IDE devices because your PCI slots are all used up. Forget about having a real good video capture card that requires a PCI slot so there goes your graphics development ability because you may not be happy with the expensive PCIExpress video card that uses capturing programs you don't care for or because it just doesn't do the job the same effective and efficient way your current card does.
Not to mention that Vista and all devices (sound, video, dvd drive) and programs installed will all be DMR controlled....and to the point that if any of them even SUSPECT during their detection process that what you are trying to do is 'piracy', whether it's completely innocent or not, you will have a trashed system as things begin to turn off behind your back and beyond your control.
I'll stick with XP....and will just buy my replacement hardware as I can find it on the internet so as something dies as hardware will, I will have backup hardware that I KNOW works for me and gives me ALL of my current options. I'm not buying all that new stuff to satisfy MS or the RIAA. Somewhere along the line, enough is enough with technology, and I'm hanging on to what I want knowing it works. I don't need industries to tell me what's best for me. MS can keep their "WOW" commercials for people who buy into it. I'll keep building my own for a long time to come.
If I ever do have to go to Vista and all the rest of the new technology that dictates to me, it will be for a system that only gets on the internet and allows me to keep my website. My REAL system will be a backup still using XP, without internet access since I won't need the stupid updates for it after 2012 when it ceases to exist anyhow, and all my hardware and software that keeps on trucking.