@Brett Weaver - you're doing it wrong
"It is impossible that you are a developer on windows and retain those opinions. Vista is too slow. Full stop."
Bzzzt! You're wrong. I am a developer on windows (amongst many other targets), and I share those opinions. See, not impossible at all. Wonder what that does for the rest of your off topic argument ?
"If you ever become a developer with a real deadline"
Like what I am. See later for cock waving, but trust me, mine's bigger than yours.
"you will appreciate why people get upset when their machine just stops for no reason"
"takes 15 minutes to read the table of contents on a DVD"
"or starts going at half pace because Microsoft has initiated some unnecessary process in the background which is stealing memory and machine cycles."
"All of these things happen to me on a quad core COMPAQ with 3GB of memory."
Then it's broken. My main Vista development box is a quad core with 2GB, it has been running for over a month (e.g. has been powered up constantly) with 4 virtual desktops, minimum of 4 instances of Visual Studio 2008, a Virtual PC instance running an older VS version, apps, custom code, Immunity Debugger and IDA pro. And windbg attached that for kernel debugging.
Add standard email and web on top of that, constantly either iTunes or streaming audio over the web. The only problem I've had is occasionally blue screening the VPC due to bugs in the drivers under development.
So, you're doing something wrong. Very, very wrong. Vista has its irritations for sure, but it aint that bad.
As I've said many times before, show me a crashy windows box and I'll show you a shit admin, or if I'm feeling charitable, some poor sop who installed some utterly repugnant and poorly written piece of ware that is actually causing all their woes. In your case, I suspect some horrible, PHP IDE, or perhaps that Ruby On Rails server you're running.
Windows developer my ass. Crayon waving web monkey, more likely.