Finally today I snapped.
No more Vista for me I am going back to Windows XP and hopefully a working life of sanity. I had been at work for two hours and accomplished nothing but fighting with Windows Vista for uninstalling, installing, and rebooting. Even then I didn't manage to finish what I was trying to do.
So then I snapped. I decided to go back to Windows XP. No more deathly slow animations or silent marches of death through the UAC for me. I have no idea if Vista is a good consumer OS, but it is awful for developers who have to constantly install, reboot, update, use large amounts of files, do incremental building, and other such things.
I can't see a service pack rectifying the problem, maybe in three years it will be usable if the XP lifecycle is anything to go by.
It was noticeable working on Vista then coming home to XP simply how much faster XP is. It is not anything to do with slowness drawing to the screen or the length of animations. It all comes down to things like context menus, and security running in the background that makes simple tasks like starting a program or switching applications into a waiting game. Nothing ever "locks up" as something is always moving and interactive, but it rarely lets you do a series of quickfire operations or run multiple IDEs without groaning. Don't even get me started on rebooting breaking C++ precompiled headers.
Well, this three month hell is over...