Vista was used just since it came preloaded with the notebook
well, my experience with it was the following:
a notebook with 2ghz processor, 2gb ram ddr2 pc5400 and sata drive made out 2 minutes and 23 seconds of time to boot into the os.
after that i couldn't connect to the wireless router for some unknown reason (is suspect that broadcom chips are really pieces of crap also on windows and not only on linux). after 30mins of download of the sata controller floppy i reinstalled xp (30min) and the sytem booted in less than 48 seconds.
then the dual boot was completed with openuse 10.3 which booted in 51 seconds with compiz decorator (with autologin enabled).
i'm really happy not to use that stupid os on my pcs. i'll try out to make the notebook producer refund me for the vista price. i'm realy angry that you cannot find anymore pcs with xp or without os.
the last thing that left me really impressed was the following:
in a normal supermarket i found out a desktop pc with ubuntu preinstalled. that was really awesome, since it's price was more than 150 euros less than the same pc with vista home basic preinstalled and since it was exposed into a normal supermarket were usually only windows gets visibility.