As far as what people usually say about Vista being total crap, I beg to differ. There's a way to work Vista to do pretty much everything XP could do, and if it was removed in Vista there was always a workaround.
The one thing that pissed me off about 7 was the way they introduced the whole ClearType Selection Wizard BS, getting rid of the simple checkbox in the CP that Vista had. In 7 you have to edit the registry to turn off ClearType, which IIRC is also irreversible. Go figure.
As for Windows 8, I don't dare to try it because of its interface. It was a really poor decision by Microsoft to put a Tablet OS onto a desktop.
...You know, there's a reason OS workability keeps getting smaller and smaller with each new release of Windows. Why is that? Well, Microsoft doesn't target people who are intelligent enough to know not to screw up their computers. They don't target people who have the sense to know not to screw around in the registry or with system files and know that they'll probably screw something up. You know who they target? The unenlightened masses. The people who don't care what the computer can do, as long as they have their Angry Birds and their Amazon and their Facebook and all that. Why? The unenlightened masses vastly outnumber the intelligent human beings who know the potential computers hold and use it. Simple as that. And it's sad really, that corporations like Microsoft are going to waste such an unprecedented and valuable innovation on mindless people with mindless intentions doing mindless things on their computers, honestly.