You would've been happy to go with Vista if it weren't for all the bloatware packed in which you have no say about? - A new independent tool has been released which solves that problem.
Some of you may be aware of nLite for Windows 2000/XP; the same team of people who created that are behind the newly released "vLite" currently sitting at version 1.1.
Windows Vista from Microsoft takes a lot of resources, we all know that. vLite provides you with an easy removal of the unwanted components in order to make Vista run faster and to your liking.
This tool doesn't use any kind of hacking, all files and registry entries are protected as they would be if you install the unedited version only with the changes you select.
It configures the installation directly before the installation, meaning you'll have to remake the ISO and reinstall it. This method is much cleaner, not to mention easier and more logical than doing it after installation on every reinstall.
If you'd like to see how Vista behaves without all the unnecessary bloat then definitely give it a try folks.