1.) How long has it been since you enabled Personalized Menus? (It's not supported under the default Vista start menu.) It can take time for Windows to determine which programs you access regularly, so you may not see an immediate effect.
2.) Do you run disk cleanup utilities such as WindowWasher, DiskScrubber, or CCleaner? If so, you may be inadvertently deleting records of which programs you access regularly, forcing Windows to continually start over with them all displayed by default.
As far as I can tell, most people having problems with personalized menus are looking to turn the feature off. I am having the opposite problem. I have the feature turned on and want it on, but it doesn't work. It's not that it's not incorrectly assessing what programs are frequently used or not -- it's not doing anything at all. No "double V's" or anything. Thankfully I have a WUXGA display, so the full, unabbreviated program list doesn't overwhelm the screen, but I want personalized menus to work! Is anyone aware of what the deal might be?
I am running Vista Home Premium (32-bit) on a brand new HP desktop. I haven't done anything esoteric with the Windows installation since it arrived, although I did switch to the Classic Start Menu. I cannot fathom what the problem is.