My old laptop has begun to show a few signs that it might be going bad (a couple of screen blackouts so far) so I jumped at the great deal that Staples offered on a new Toshiba model a few weeks ago. Being a new model it came with WINDOWS 8 installed. So far I am not a fan of the new OS as I think it is much better suited to run on a tablet. The start menu is gone and there are tiles to launch the apps. I have done some research (which I should have done before my purchase) about user experience and there seems to be a lot of similiar sentiment. There are also a few 3rd part apps which apparently mimic some of the Windows7 functionality (including the Start Menu); not sure if they are worthwhile but I plan to explore them further. Given time, I guess I will get used to it, but I would suggest that anyone planning on buying a new PC with WINDOWS8 should try it out first (I bought my PC online, sight unseen).
UPDATE --- Well, my old WIN7 laptop died on Friday ---- I think the disk crashed, as when turned on the unit just clicks and the disk indicator light does not light up anymore. Not sure what I can salvage? I will attempt to remove the disk and see if it can be read using a USB disk enclosure while attached to another machine. Thankfully, I have archived most of my data files, but even with that there is still a lot of info, plus loss of S/W that might be gone forever - Toshiba was about 4 years old!!! WIN8 still sucks!