Exactly. The only viable excuse is that there have come to be a lot of people that have a tremendous anti-MS bias. I’m running W8 on a single-core 1.7 Ghz nettop and it flies. IE10 is super fast, and like yourself the adjustment period was extremely brief.
I read a highly negative review today about some pundit who has used a Surface RT device for a month now. He was particularly negative about how hard it is to interact with windows in the desktop mode using touch. Well, first this really isn’t something a normal person will have to do all that often, so this makes his bias extremely obvious. Office on Surface RT, in general, screams for the touch / type cover.
This pundit obviously has not read up on W8 at all. Paul Thurrott has a nice article about using the Personalization controls built into Windows to make the desktop vastly more touch friendly on tablets. And, personalization has been around for a long time in Windows, so this hugely uninformed, hack obviously does not know squat about Windows, thus rendering 98% of what he has to say as utter rubbish. And there’s a lot of that going on out there.
Finally, I can see the valid complaints about having to go through the Start screen to get to the desktop or not having the old Start Menu in the desktop mode. Sure, these are valid negatives that indicate MS may have misread how John Q Public would react regarding these changes.