Vista gets a bad wrap. It got so much negative press that I consciously decided not to upgrade until after service pack 1 was issued. While there are a few kinks (e.g., UAC is annoying but is easy enough to get used to) I'm finally getting comfortable with the OS.
Windows Aero is mostly eye candy but some of that eye candy comes in handy. I'm totally loving the screen magnifier; especially since it's the default action for the thumb button on the Microsoft Notebook Optical Mouse 3000. I'm also really digging Windows Flip 3D. I'm so accustomed to Alt-Tab to switch applications that it's taking a while to get used to Winkey-tab but it IS cool being able to see all of the currently opened applications floating in a rolodex-like view (not that I've ever owned a rolodex but I have seen them).
It's eye candy but it provides context. The context makes it easier to manage many more open windows at a time; I no longer have to remember exactly which browser windows I have open (or more importantly, do I already have one open for task X when it occurs to me to do task X). With Windows Flip 3D you get instant reminders of what all you have open.
It doesn't hurt that the ms notebook optical mouse 3000 also has Windows Flip mapped to the middle mouse button ;)