I had a meeting with one of the senior PMs of VS's user-experience this week, we're due to have another, larger, meeting to discuss all of the little issues that, in our esteemed opinions, plague VS 2012 - I will raise these points. I'm with the "VS2012 haters" camp, honestly
However, remember that while Windows' system requirements haven't been raised since Windows Vista (to increase Windows' installbase size) Visual Studio's has, and you can't really blame them for following Moore's Law. However VS2012 does run adequately on my older machines, even a 2006 ThinkPad X60 with a Yonah Core Duo - they key thing is RAM - just throw lots of memory at the problem and things will improve. I really recommend at least 8GB of RAM if you're running 2012, even if it still does run as a 32-bit process.