I've been using Windows 7 on my home PC for several weeks now, and recently installed the 64-bit release version. I must say that Microsoft has done a very good job with Windows 7. From major changes to minor changes, I can confidently say that installing Windows 7 on your XP or Vista computer will give you a strong feeling of rejuvenation. Booting is fast, apps are managed better, and the overall OS is very slick.
But before you upgrade to Windows 7, take a look into a utility called Ninite. The little tool lets you customize all your favorite apps into one monolithic installer. You then download the package, and run the install. Ninite will install all the apps you picked without fuss. Walk away. Enjoy some coffee, and when you come back, all your apps are ready to go. There's no need to manually hunt for them again.
Ninite currently supports all the popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc., and includes utility apps such as VLC, Skype, Thunderbird, Adobe PDF Reader, Flash, bit-torrent tools, RealVNC, WinRAR, PuTTY, and other common apps. You can suggest your own.
Hit up the Ninite website. Pick your apps, download the installer, copy to a USB-stick so that you'll have it ready to go before moving to a fresh Windows 7 install. Best of all, it's free and grabs you the latest version of the apps!
You're free to suggest apps that should be included too. One utility that I did find missing is Daemon Tools.