I've had much more success with Windows Vista than Windows XP, granted some things are moved but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. I would recommend no less than 2 gb. of ram and one of the higher priced editions because of the option "complete pc backup", which is the best computer hard drive restore I've ever used and is very fast and once you set your data up on an external drive and install all your programs, you can do real simple restores in an emergency and be up and running with all your stuff configured in 15 minutes. Also, it is somewhat more stable, but much more hardened for the internet. Rarely have any trouble with spyware, etc. 2 gb. of ram and it is smooth running, even faster than xp on 1 gb. of ram. 1 gb. of ram is sluggish with Vista, so don't even think of getting by with that.
Microsoft in its infinite stupidity rearranged the whole human interface in Windows Vista to the point where one has to re-learn where all the parts are. In moving from XP to Vista, I find that all (that I have been able to find) the parts in XP are in Vista but in a different place and hidden in directories where you least expect them to be. If I have to go to the trouble to learn a whole new way to use my computer, I will move to Linux. It is certainly no more difficult to learn than Vista (coming from usisng XP for 6 years). And Linux if FREE !!! I will not pay $300.00 or more for any system which causes me to exert a large effort to learn when I can spend the same amount of energy to learn another for free/.