i loaded vista ultimate retail (from msdn) and dumped it after 1 week. i'm a developer and i use my main pc for work and play. vista's not good for either.
visual studio 2005 and sql server 2005 both have numerous issues and need beta patches to run under vista. corel paintshop pro forces aero off. nero 6 and diskeeper are incompatible and require upgrades. i've had outlook 2003 and other apps just disappear (they don't crash, i don't close them, they just disappear). i had numerous other apps go 'white' and stop working. even readyboost stopped working once. when checking for solutions, none are found.
i've also run into "pop-under" problems where the dialog box winds up behind the app. i even captured a screenshot where task manager drew the process listing on top of its tabs so the view couldn't be changed.
google desktop completely wigged out. ie7's protected mode won't let me download anything and gives the bogus error that the site was not found. my photosmart printer has no driver; my canon scanner is a paperweight. nvidia has no whql approved drivers.
is this because of my pc? i don't think so. its a pentium-d 945 (dual 3.4ghz) with 2gb, intel d945gnt mobo, and dual sata drives in matrix raid. my pc has an "experience index" score of 5.0 out of 5.9.
I have been using Windows Vista (Retail Version) for 3 months now (I am a TechNet Subscriber) and I have not had a single problem. Take into account i am a very heavy user and I also do programming.
I have a HP Pavilion dv9000t. When I got Vista I did a clean install. once I started every single thing just worked. The HP QuickLaunch Buttons worked, my graphics card (nVIDIA GeForce Go 7600) just worked, I had aero instantly. My WiFi worked instantly, so did my sound, mouse pad, my FN keys (for the brightness etc). The only thing I had to get a driver for was for Lightscribe. I have not had program compatibility issues (but that might just be the programs I use). I have not had a single BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death for the newbies). My system has not crashed once, everything just worked without a problem.
So I recommend that instead of people upgrading thier current OS, just backup data and do a clean install.
I think that upgrading is what is causing all the problems.