I have found a Windows 7 network very simple to set up. In my case I have 3 PC's in my home-group and if I reinstall Windows, which I did Saturday, on any PC it is just a matter of inputting the home-group password and in the Network Sharing area, in the Change Advanced Sharing Settings page. I make sure that.
Network Discovery: ON
File and Printer sharing: ON
And for me I Turn off Password Protected Sharing as I do not see a need for a password.
Which is about it apart from restating the PC. And I am good to go.