Depends on how you measure 'faster'. I'm sure Vista could win in certain benchmarks; for example, did 98 even have multi-core support?
I've noticed some bloggers who have tried Vista since SP1 came out and changed their minds. I got into the SP1 beta (Likely due to being invited to the original Longhorn/Vista beta).
I wrote a series of
posts on the subject, and went through much turmoil and internal dispute before finally making it my primary OS - Despite having gotten a free license via the Longhorn Beta program (Thanks whoever invited
me; I couldn't find the invite thread).
I think people are finally starting to realize that (With SP1 applied) Vista is a solid OS. It's the most aesthetically appealing OS I've ever seen, and my network file transfers are faster than ever before (Having reinstalled my File & Printer Sharing).