I stayed with XP from its launch until 2 years ago (did not bother with W 2000 nor Vista). I dual booted for a month with XP and W7, convinced that my trusty XP was better. IMHO it was not - I like W7 and can see no advantage in retaining XP unless the equipment is old or the cost of software is too much. I will not rush into W8, however! I have bought semi bespoke ready to go - so good that the last two I bought were Dan and Evesham that both firms went belly up , I suspect because they had good (but costly) back up service. Like you in the days of (Quad) valve amps etc I assembled HiFi but these days buy ready made with add ons.
Sony Xperia Z5 review: Hands-on with the phone which the Z3+ should have been