A few things I'll offer.
First, while Internet Explorer in Vista has a "protected mode" operation, I'd still consider it far too unsafe for any kind of regular use. Replace it with one of the following: Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Safari. Reserve Internet Explorer for those rare occasions where a site will simply not work with anything else, and there's no other site where you can get the same information and/or service.
You should probably similarly not use Windows Mail.
That being said, most of the things you mentioned are still there in IE7, just moved to different locations.
The page reload and stop buttons have been moved to the address bar, the favorites are now accessed by the star button on the tab bar. There is a house button that lets you configure the home page, and then a Tools button that lets you access most of the rest of IE's options, including showing the menu bar like was in IE6. Still, you'd be MUCH better off from a security standpoint, avoiding use of IE as much as humanly possible. It is the point of entry for probably 90% of all spyware/malware out there. Most of the rest coming in via P2P file sharing programs. So in the vein of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, not using IE has got to be like an entire convoy worth of cure.