While I admit this tip may not suit everbody. My own way to deal with the peculiarities of win8 was to add a "classic shell" installation to it. Doing that I selected the win7 version of their shell and so far are real happy with the results.
Still have access to all the win8 specific stuff when and if I want it - but get to access stuff and get tasks done pretty much in the way one is used to in win7.
I admit I am no software engineer or code-writer - so excuse me if there is nasty stuff going on in the background that I am not aware of. See no real reason to expect this though.