I installed the first release candidate for Windows 7 this afternoon. I was pretty impressed. Install is pretty easy, setup a snap, and the operating itself seems to have the polish one expects out of product that has over a twenty year history. The biggest thing, however, is it is much more responsive when playing games than its predecessor, Windows Vista, ever had.
The UI, too, has gotten quite a rework. From the new task bar to a few new eye-candy tweaks, Windows 7 is worthy of an upgrade from Windows XP. Except on thing--why upgrade? XP works fine for me, does everything I need it to do, and is quite a bit less of a hassle in regard to reinstallation and reactivation issues. All the software I use (and still being published) don't require an upgrade. It's as if the software development side hasn't really bought into anything post-XP as well. Games are still backward compatible with DirectX 9 (latest version available on XP), so it's not as if I'm missing out on the gaming scene by not switching.
But then again, there's this: if I purchase a prebuilt computer with an OEM copy of Windows 7, I don't see any reason to wipe it and load XP on. Coming from me, that's saying a lot, considering what an anti-Vista pundit I've become. In the end, taking Windows 7 for a drive only reinforces the sentiment I've had since the initial beta, that Windows 7 is what Vista should have been all along.