I must agree that it's best, in the cases of those who require nearly absolute stabilities and compatibility, to hold off until Vista is better supported. Various companies and state departments have already prohibited installation of Vista until SP1, or at least until it is deemed feasible to upgrade with minimal problems. However, to your other points:

* The day Vista entered the hands of consumers, they were demanding support from HP, Sony, Epson, and the like. The third-party vendors should have had at least some support that day. Any day beyond that is after the consumer demanded it, not before.

For an analogy, take your bank. I'm sure you would agree they should have the money on hand ready for your withdrawal, not days, weeks, or even months after you demand it.

* XP is FAR from being bulletproof. There are critical security and stability patches being released monthly and there are still legacy devices in use that are not supported by the operating system. That is simply part of the game.

In addition, Vista has numerous new features, ranging from added security protection to the new Aero interface and built-in DVD burning capabilities. Granted, they may not outweigh the compatibility issues and cost for many, but the point is there are reasons.

* The multiple flavors were a result of consumer demand, and are designed to give the consumer more of what he/she wants, not forcing him/her to accept too much or too little. And the prices, except for Vista Ultimate, are in line with those of previous editions, once you consider inflation. (I seem to remember a time when minimum wage was under $3/hour and the Sunday paper didn't cost $1.00 at the newsstand.)

It's a good, cautious approach but the foundation of the argument is a little shaky.
John