I’ve personally been using Windows7 for about 6 months now on my home computer and am really very impressed with it on a number of fronts. Many people seem to be fans of the new and improved Start Menu and taskbar. I am not one of them and have been playing with alternatives.
Although its buried Windows7 does support the Quick Launch bar and you can make it behave exactly as it did with XP and Vista. How-To Geek has an excellent instructional guide on how to configure your system to show the Quick Launch Bar. They also have instructions on how to make the task bar work more like XP and Vista. I’ve been using this solution for several months now and am very happy with the results.
Vista had an option to use the Classic Start Menu. Unfortunately Windows7 does not offer that feature.
I do like the ability to type a command in the menu and have it quickly executed but I truly hate the new organizational metaphor. LifeHacker has found a way to restore the “classic” start menu. . On one of my test machines I’ve been using the free CSMenu. You lose the on the fly program search and it does not support Areo but you gain back XP-style menus. It also doesn’t support customizations such as removing the Documents menu item. I have not tried the $19.99 commercial product Classic Start menu which appears to support Aero and more customization options but does not restore the XP menu functionality. At this point I am getting used to the new Start menu.