I decided to give up on Vista for now. I restored the backup of my original XP install on my laptop. (Done with Acronis True Image, by the way.) I think if I had a much more powerful laptop, the Vista beta might be usable, but it’s just too slow on a 2-year-old Gateway machine, with 512 MB of RAM and a low-end video card.
I am still looking forward to the final release of Vista, but I doubt I’d upgrade either my desktop or laptop to Vista; I’ll need to wait until the next time I buy new machines.