I have had at least two people tell me that windows works very smoothly for them, and that it handles whatever they need to do with it. I've been programming since long before there was windows, and I have NEVER had that good experience. In my experience, it's always been true that windows slows down (clogs up) over time, requires additional software to keep it running acceptably, requires virus/spyware/adware protection, and that a BSOD is an uncommon but familiar experience to nearly all windows users (especially programmers).
My best experience so far was my wife's computer several years ago. She bought antivirus sw and a mail program, never ran IE or Outlook. Used OpenOffice. Installed/uninstalled nearly nothing after that. Surfed. Emailed. Played PySol. It was good for a couple of years until I installed some dev software, after which it slowed down and got wonky. I learned to leave her computers alone! Recently, she converted another windows laptop to Ubuntu to escape Windows wonkitude.
Since I have to use windows now and again, here is your chance: SCHOOL ME. Teach me how you run windows without having to prop it up with additional software and never have crashes or slowdowns. Tell me what software you run, and how you manage install/uninstall. Explain how you don't have to reimage the machine every couple of years (or more often).
The funny thing is that I am being open and honest about this. I would love not to have to reboot my work laptop or suffer weird networking behavior or crashing programs. So please, elucidate!