21st C computing
"Most of my crucial programs work on Windows and I really do not have the time or inclination to learn Linux or play with all the different flavours. I have an aversion to Apple and mac o/s"
I'm sorry to say, but you've got to bite the bullet on this. There no longer is a version of Windows that works and is supported and is suitable for use as your main OS. If you have programs that you rely on that work in Win 7 (or whichever flavour) then the only way I've found to get reliable performance is to run them in a VM.
At that point, running linux or a Mac as the main OS is a much better bet. You've got to learn a "new" OS anyway, so move to a saner environment. VM windows is actually quite pleasant to work with, since it doesn't have to do any of that awkward dealing with hardware stuff, and can be rebooted pretty quick whenever it needs a wee kicking.
Personally I prefer a Mac to linux box, if only because it's possible to find someone to fix it if I don't have the time myself. Linux techs tend to be either crap and cheap, or good and very expensive. Mac techs can often be found in the mid range.
The main problem with Apple kit is a) the fanbois and b) people who assume you are a fanboi for owning one. I'm fairly company agnostic, so I find it interesting what reasons people come up with to justify hating Apple, especially when it's clear they haven't touched a Mac for a few decades. Apple also appears to have stolen a lot of MS techs girlfriend's, run over their dogs and TP their house based on the hate it gets :)