There is nothing more depressing than knowing you have to use a computer loaded up with Vista, especially when developing, because it is a constant battle.
But deep in the bowels of the OS there are some interesting things, but they tend to be undocumented. I'm not a fan of the layering of the GUI, and I always wondered if it was possible to use the base parts of the GUI DLLs which things like WP use as teir basis.
Some exceedingly talented and clever developers have spent their brain cycles reverse engineering the completely undocumented dwm and milcore.dll (apart from the thumbnail API). I'm not a fan of all the managed stuff especially since it mainly resoves down to the unmanaged core DLLs anyway. Go check out the blog here with lots of videos of some exceedingly clever things.
What is even better is that the developer has released it as open-source. Hopefully this will provide a basis for more adventurous and useful developments. With this amount of flexibility available then it should be possible to create something where Vista gets some good productivity gains.