To be honest with you LABMAN you would be better trying Vista for yourself. Rather than reaching conclusions from the press or blogs or even those who want to stay with XP for their own very good reasons but seem to have to criticise something they say they do not want, give it a go.
I have watched very closely the SP1 debate and there has been an awful lot said which is simply fuelled by a somewhat irrational dislike of Microsoft. I like Vista, I have SP1 and I have many in my family circle who are in the same position.
Look at the other thread about regretting Vista and there are all sorts of opinions.
The issue about SP1 and drivers is predominantly an issue about how drivers were installed on machines rather than driver failures. MS have taken the view, reasonably in my opinion that they will withhold SP1 to those machines which have difficulties until they can be fixed by updates then the SP will be released. Much of the recent moaning has been because people want SP1 and are impatient to try it.
The early days of Vista were not helped by some third party manufacturers who were slow to bring out viable drivers. 29% of all Vista crashes were laid at the door of nVidia. In fairness even MS failed to deliver fully on their own drivers. Things are very different now.
Windows 7 is meant to be 2 years away. If it is it will be the first time MS have even come close to their predictions for release.