Win8 has transformed it. Start up is quick. Apps load instantly. And it's all running on old hardware with 4GB of RAM.
Metro is excellent. Simple swipe from the right hit Start and there are all my apps how I want them. Not how the Start menu says I should have them.
Then when the desktop is required Classic Shell removes any need to complain about the lack of one button. If anything Win 8 makes you more productive because it is some times quicker to use the keyboard shortcuts that have been in Windows for years.
Win 8 was a big win IMO.
Seems people just get sh1tty because a single button on the taskbar was gone. Oh the horror!!