I think their catch-phrase is 'it just works'...but there's no 'just' about it....it works well.
Yup, that pretty much says it... Win 7 works well... in fact, very well.
Not only does Win 7 start faster, it loads proggies/apps faster, and file copy/transfer is also much faster. In all, Win 7 is smooth and seamless to use. As for Bootskin not working (as yet) everything else of importance does... WB; IP; DX; Logonstudio; Deskscapes; OD and more.
WinFX and Aquarium Desktop are two Stardock apps that don't run in 7 at the moment, but hopefully they'll get an update soon.
Oh, and if I were you, scruf57, I'd get the x64 edition of whichever 7 flavour you choose.... it'll use your resources better and allow you to access more RAM. It may have been hard to get drivers and compatible apps a while back, but these days 64 bit is well catered for and you should have no issues with compatibility. I've been running Vista x64 for about a year now and I have yet to find something that doesn't/won't run... except an old webcam that never came with x64 drivers, and the manufacturer has since gone out of business. It's no biggie, though, I just got another webcam that does work.
Vista is a disaster,
I found quite the opposite. I have my copy of Vista Home Premium SP2 x64 set up the way I want and it runs very well indeed. Admittedly I used TweakVista to fine tune it some - stopped a few unnecessary start-up apps and services - but I wouldn't say it was a disaster, especially not after SP2 resolved a few issues. In fact, I'm so happy with how I've set it up that I'm keeping Vista x64 and will dual boot with Win 7 x64... so I can go in for a sentimental visit every now and then.