I have gotten Vista RC1, and i have to say it is pretty freaking sweet.
The design really hasnt changed much from xp, and almost none at all from beta 2.
the only differences between beta 2 and RC1 that i have seen are:
1) The startup screen has "Vista ultimate" instead of nothing or jsut "Vista"
2) There is a nifty window switcher next to the desktop icon in quick launch area.
this moves all of your windows in a diagonal (in 3D) stack so you can see most of all the windows and choose one.
So far i have installed 1 driver for my mouse, and Steam, Xfire, and Halo. so far the only one of those 4 things installed with no glitches: Xfire.
The mouse driver was no problem, it simply gave the mouse a default driver instead of logitech's (easily fixed), but so far steam and Halo are giving me issues.
Steam needs to have write access to the files it installs, and for some unknown reason Windows likes to "read-only" all of the program files. I temporarily got around that by installing to a different hard drive, but as soon as Vista recognized that i had installed a program, it Read onlied my STEAM folder. I have an idea about fixing this, i am going to install from XP, and just place a shortcut on my desktop in Vista. I will post when i figure out if this works.
For halo, it is a similar problem: it "requires administrator priveleges to operate" and i am the only user account on the OS. I am going to try the same workaround that i mentioned above.
If you have a spare machine or partition get Vista and mess around. Its worth the cost (free until May-ish 2007) to play with.