First of all:

ManipUni wrote:

- User mode drivers (see Vista Audio Sucks 1,640,000 results)

Using google results is not a very intelligent way of proving something.  Also, how are you getting that many results?

ManipUni wrote:

Hmm ... So which of these core technologies can you take forward? Most of them are welcome (except User Mode Drivers); but none of them offer you a new environment you can develop anything really neat on.

There are so many more new or improved core technologies in Vista that you did not even mention.  From a technical and forward looking perspective they are very exciting.  If more developers really took hold of this stuff and used it I think we would see some very interesting things.  I do have to agree that the average nontechnical user may not see too many differences since these new technologies are platforms for building better software.