Short verdict: all my problems have disappeared. I often use the laptop for gaming, and it had started crashing every 15 minutes under Vista. That has now stopped under Windows 7. I also had persistent audio driver problems, and one day my wireless mouse just decided to go on vacation. These problems are also gone.
The indexing seems to be taking forever, and I'm not certain I'll even leave it on after it's complete. Indexing tends to slow down a system, and it's usually the first thing to go when I start suffering speed degradation. On the other hand, I'm a little bit intrigued by the rapid searching and library features. Indexing might finally be worth the overhead.
Right off that bat, I can tell you that the Snipping Tool is a weird and wonderful little option. I have no idea why Microsoft put it in there, but the simplification of desktop screen caps is a welcome feature for any tech writer. Back in the DOS days, we had to keep a variety of memory-resident screen capture utilities in order to do game reviews, and it was a real pain the neck. This is a great little addition.
I wasn't as big a Vista-hater as some, but there was no denying that it was an epic fail. My experiences only got catastrophic over time, as one by one various things stopped functioning. Windows 7 seems to be working pretty well so far, but it's still been a time sump making the change-over, and will probably continue to be.
Oh, I also lost the last three months of emails in the transfer. If you wrote to me and I haven't answered yet, I no longer have your mail.