But while on the desktop that didn't work just using the mouse.
FROM the desktop, moving the mouse to the lower left corner brings up a tile which launches the start menu (metro). Works every time on every single system I've tested it on.
And while in Metro it was hard to get to the desktop just using the mouse. So yes the plain old Start menu is faster.
There is a tile on the Metro Start menu labeled... get this.... Desktop. You click it one time and you are back at the desktop. OR.. you can move your mouse to the upper right corner of the screen and a tile appears..of your... Desktop!!! You click on it and you are at your desktop using the program you had running. You need to remember that "metro" is the Start MENU, not another desktop.
I played with Windows 8 a few days ago.
I also "played" with Windows 8 several times and had the same opinions about it as you are expressing. Until I gave it a complete and fair workout though I did not appreciate it and see the benefits that it gives over 7. Until you (or anyone else) have (has) done that the opinions have zero foundation and simply will not hold up. It's akin to rating a skin by looking at the screenshot only. Simply pointless.