(from the first post) "..I hate looking at an LCD and all the power sucking programs running in the background.."
I'm sure it's been suggested here that you can configure Vista, much like XP, to run as fast as you want it to. I've
tweaked Vista Premium on this Acer Aspire to run blazingly fast, mainly following suggestions at Black Viper's
website and at various other "windows/vista tweaking/tips and tricks" sites.
It's simple, step-by-step stuff to get the bloat and adware and (some!) unnecessary security and background
services, etc out of operation so that your laptop OS is quick and responsive.
But of course, I finally purchased a spare hard drive so that I can run Vector when I feel like it, too.