This freeware disables all the little things you hate about Vista, making it slightly less crap:

Vista4Experts is kind of a treat for computer experts who don’t want security center notifications, User Account Control dialogs, automatic Windows Defender scannings, automatic update installations (which cause you to reboot your system if you don’t react quickly enough). People who want MSDN (or google) set as default search engine in the Internet Explorer search bar, who want the start menu power button to shut down the system instead of hibernating it, etc.