I am getting used to Vista by now. Some annoyances are inevitable, but after turning off the dreaded UAC (User Access Control or something like that) it feels quite comfortable. Aero is nothing groundbreaking, but pretty and elegant.
If you are a Vista power-user wanabee, you may want to check out the tips collection in TweakVista. In the past, many users learned to love the TweakUI powertoy, but alas it is not yet available for Vista.
Speaking of PowerToys, most of the classic ones are also not available in Vista. What’s more, even though they are simple applications (like the Power Calculator), they refuse to install in Vista. Funnily enough, people who have upgraded their XP installations to Vista can’t uninstall them either. 🙂
I miss my Power Calculator with graph capabilities and whatnot. I even tried changing the msiexec.exe compatibility options to Windows XP SP2, but the installer still refuses. I will probably try to copy the installed exe from my XP-powered laptop.
Some PowerToys have become standard in Vista, most notably the "Open Command Window Here" Explorer add-on. Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided to hide it by default, but if you hold the shift key while you right-click on a folder in Explorer, it will show up. This works only in the right pane, not in the folder tree pane. 99% of the time I open a Command Prompt like this, I do it in the folder tree pane, so along with the annoyance of having to press Shift, the "feature" is nearly useless to me.
Open RegEdit, go to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmd", and you will see a little empty string key named "Extended". Remove it and Open Command Window here becomes available without the Shift key, AND in both panes. There is another hidden utility called "Copy as Path" which I haven’t yet uncovered. If you need this desperately, you can use ClipText (Change the .reg file to the correct exe path).
Edit: you may also want to remove the "Extended" key from "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\cmd" (for the context menu with no file selected) and "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd" (for drive letters). Nothing is ever simple.
There are a million little details like this that may or may not affect you as a user. In a year or two, Vista will hopefully be polished, and tweaking tools will be plentiful so you can make the system as comfortable for you as possible. In the meantime, share what you can, and have fun exploring and Googling!