@Dr Herbie: That might be satisfactory if the desktop experience was practically identical to Windows 7. Even in 7 you could configure it to resemble more XP/Vista style by setting small icons + combine when taskbar full and you can even add quick launch icons back just as it was in XP with little work.
You can still do all this in Win8.
I currently pin often launched document based stuff (excel, VS etc) on the start menu and only very frequently used stuff in the taskbar (IE, notepad replacement etc). The more rarely used things I launch from either desktop or the Run (win+r). I prefer the more often used or text input based stuff in Run history than desktop as I can start then start and run them purely without moving my hand to the mouse, where as mouse based stuff can be on the desktop as icons. I don't launch stuff using Start Menu search at all since I always disable indexing services and as Windows unindexed search is unusably slow I use NTFS search as that handles millions of files in second. I don't think the MSFT search guys can even dream up that kind of perf, or if they can, it will involve some background indexer service that happens to run when I'm using a MIDI keyboard and increase jitter...
So the only difference is that you'd have to pin the stuff you currently have on the start menu to the start screen instead. Win+R still works. Desktop shortcuts still work. The only possible issue here is loss of the jump lists for things that were pinned to the start menu, but if this is really a major issue there's probably third-party start menu replacements that can do that.