Did you up-grade or fresh install, there has been some issuse surrounding how long it takes to up-grade, but there again it does have to a lot of work when up-grading, a clean install is very much quicker...
Some advantages with vista, it will install more drivers for componnents and equipment, in my case it loaded graphic card, printer and my router so was able to get straight onto the internet, must admit I had to tweak abit to get onto my home network though..
I didn't have to press F6 to load my SATA drivers, so I could carry on with installation which I have to do with XP
It does more as a basic operating system, you could almost use it on it's own with out having to add other programs to burn cd/dvd ect
It has better security features for the newbbie, so is more secure for the first time user..
I personaly feel that it is more clear and a lot easier to navigate around than XP.
Since RC1 (build 5600)was released, they've released build 5728 (which I'm using) which is quicker again to CPP and they've already released to TOP build 5748 (I think that the right number)
So by the time Vista is launched, it will run a lot more soomthly and have even more drivers either embedded or available from the manufacturers...
IMHO I think Vista is more user friendly and is going to take off a lot quicker than previous OS's tha microsoft has released