I would also like to recommend trying out Windows 8 for a while.
I know. I know. Skepticism.
I really like it, though. I have a really nice machine (Unlocked Ivy Bridge i7, 2600MHz DDR3 [yes, really], GTX 660Ti, SSD, etc), and Windows 7 ran fine on it. It was as smooth and responsive as you'd expect.
Windows 8, though? It's like buttah. I mean, there is an actual difference in the feel of using it. It's like Microsoft went through with a detail sander and smoothed out all the corners.
And man does it look good. After you get over the initial shock of the whole start menu situation, and if you can ignore the full-screen app stuff, then you start to see just how much time was spent on typography, layout, and just general look of the OS. It's really nice.
I attribute at least part of my ready acceptance of Windows 8 to the fact that I'm not really tied to one OS. I'd been using Linux exclusively starting around 2009. I only started using Windows 7 again because I wanted to play games. And I've never stuck to one desktop environment when using Linux. I've used KDE, Gnome 2 & 3 (I like 3 too; sue me), LXDE, and XFCE. For the past year, I've been using OS X exclusively at work (10.7 & 10.8 while supporting back to 10.3). So, walking into something that changes how one interacts with a computer is not a new thing for me. I see the start screen as basically just a full screen start menu, and even then I still tend to use it only for its search functionality.
So anyways, blah blah. I think more people should use Windows 8 because I think it's probably the sexiest OS that Microsoft has ever made.