Can virtually clone Win 7
My first response to Win 8 was YECCH! GROSS! But I tried it a bit more and found it is possible to create almost an exact clone of Win 7.
I hate the XP/Vista-style startup menu. I didn't switch from XP to Win 7 until I found a (free) program that duplicates the old fly-out style start menu that lets me organize programs my way, not automatically alphabetized: Classic Shell Menu (currently ver. 3.6.2).
CSM has been updated and works fine with Win 8. It adds back the Start button and presents the choice of Classic, XP/Vista or Win 7 Start menu styles. It also has an option to bypass the Metro screen. Regarding the logon screen, as in previous Windows versions you can set the computer to auto-boot for a specific user, which bypasses that screen. (CSM also lets you turn off the "trigger by going to corner" menus.)
The end result is a virtual clone of Win 7. So why bother upgrading? Because it cost $42 (including tax) to go from Win 7 Home Premium to Win 8 Pro, with all the extra benefits of Pro. Once it's set up, there's basically no learning curve because I don't use the Start screen (although it's available).
The one thing I too don't like is that the Win 7 games don't work--Mahjong, Solitaire and Free Cell.
In fairness, I need to point out that I use PowerDesk Pro, so I rarely use Windows Explorer/File Manager.
Also, Win 8 is a lot more anal about security. A lot of annoying security that could be turned off in Win 7 can't be turned off in Win 8. Other than that's it's pretty easy to set up a Win 7 clone although it might take awhile the first time if you don't know about CSM.