Well, I opted for the poor man's Virtual Machine option: dual boot Vista 64-bit Ultimate with trusty old Win XP Pro 32-bit .
I am beginning to like Vista 64-bit Ultimate a lot. Because of my near state of the art hardware I got a reading of Vista Experience 5.9 which is the highest today. According to Microsoft:
"The base scores currently range from 1 to 5.9. The Windows Experience Index is designed to accommodate advances in computer technology. As hardware speed and performance improves, higher base scores will be introduced."
Of course there were issues of a couple of programs not working in a 64-bit OS. Those issues were surpassed by getting more modern versions of the programs that I used, and in one case replacing it with a different one that would run on Vista 64. I spent a few bucks but so what?
I have surpassed the two main hurdles that Vista 64-bit confronted me with: 1) Copying *all* DVDs, and encoding MP3s to archival quality from audio CDs in my extensive audio CD collection that I started in 1989.
Conclusion: All is good (NOW) in Vista 64-bit world for me.
I guess waiting for Vista SP1 (and getting a brand new custom made PC) was worth it...