I have been recently beta testing the new Windows 7, Its much much much better than Vista, thats for sure, its more directed towards newbs, which is good, it finally has alot of the features you been looking for.
Some new features I like are:
Finally able to rearrange the open items in your taskbar, they use icons now instead of a title, which is nice for more real estate, but I think the area around the icon could be even smaller. I originally thought 7 took the docking station from Apple, but I was mistaken, you can pin things to the taskbar and the taskbar functions are alot better, you can right click and open recent items or if you have more than one window open you can click and choose which tab or file to jump to.
The background is nice, it changes automatically. I like the show desktop button beside the systray, its useful, The start menu and control panel are more user friendly, its mostly text based which is fine with me. They used text for the start menus power options, which I think is a big improvement. The Breadcrumb feature in explorer is nice. Oh yea, real sweet feature is if you drag a window to the top, right, or left side of the screen it maximizes the window.
I do think they just went back through Vista and focused on the details, and it made it more user friendly, all the things you thought to yourself "why wouldn't they just have done this," I have been noticing alot of small things that I been saying to myself "Finally"!