I’ve run every modern version of Windows since NT 3.51 (which ran great including OpenGL 3D graphics on a 90Mhz Pentium with 16 megabytes of RAM believe it or not) but unless something changes radically, I’ll be skipping Vista from now on. I ran it at home for over two months trying to get used to it, but finally I got frustrated enough that I decided it was worth losing an entire evening to “downgrade” back to Windows XP and I couldn’t be happier. I still prefer Windows XP to Linux on the desktop, but I’d choose the latest Ubuntu Linux over Vista in a heartbeat.
If you’re interested in functional programming, definitely check out Scala. It has a nice pragmatic feel to it, a friendly & active community, and can easily access the massive amount of JVM libraries. There is also a .NET version in the works as well. There’s also a nice plugin for Eclipse being worked on. There’s a great introductory article available over at Artima that I highly recommend checking out.