ChadG wrote:
...and other topics such as resource consumption (are we being efficient with our use of CPU, disk bandwidth, & memory). 

I have always been impressed with WMP's resource consumption.  The visualizations take an amazingly low amount of CPU time for what seems to be a lot of work.

I agree with a previous post that creating playlists is somewhat non-intuitive.  The auto playlists are a great feature though.