I'm running vista (32bit) on an Acer 5310 service pack 2 laptop. I did a safe boot two days ago because of a glitch with IE (a warning saying this script can no longer be run on this page or something such)
I've since rebooted in normal mode(I've gone though F8 to do this three times now) to find that the Vista orb has been replaced by the old rectagle style. I'm pretty sure that other design type features have remained in the old style (ie 'safe mode' style) as well.
Have to disagree :) Vista is super stable compared to XP, and given reasonable care doesn't suffer the slow downs and problems of old. I don't deny there were issues for some at the start, but it's matured into an excellent product.