Yes, I know now, I should have gotten the 32-bit version.
I thought about the 64-bit version of XP when it was released, but because of the poor driver support, I went with the 32-bit version. Now that Vista was released, I thought the 64-bit driver situation would be a lot better. It's not.
After years of searching I finally found a digital tv tuner last year for a cable connection (DVB-C) with a Connax card reader for those not-free-to-"air" channels such as BBC World. The solution was a FireWire based "Digital Everywhere FireDTV" device. Now it sits idle next to my computer - no Vista and certainly no 64-bit Vista driver. Even my Canon USB flatbed scanner is unusable - no driver.
I have only bought about 10 games over the years and that is a good thing. It is all wasted money now. After some googling I found a discussion forum with instructions on how to get my favourite game, Civilization 3, to work in Vista. I managed to play for 10 minutes and then I got my first Vista BlueScreen. And the money I spent on a DiVX license a few months ago? Down the drain. The one year subscription I bought for F-Secure anti-virus? A waste of money.
I am a lot more reluctent to pay for software after this experience. Open source solutions and web based solutions are looking better all the time.
Most of all these days, I use my computer for digital media - audio and video. I have ripped my music to Ogg Vorbis and videos to Xvid compressed Matroska files with Ogg audio to avoid closed source proprietary formats - and a good thing I did.
The VLC media player is one of the few bright spots - since it does not rely on codecs but instead handles data internally like a "normal" application, it works. It happily opens and plays my Ogg audio files and my Xvid compressed Matroska files.
Update: Ed Hamrick to the rescue, his VueScan software not only works with Vista 64-bit, but comes with a built in driver for a number of scanners, including my Canon scanner (N676U, identical to LiDE 20). And best of all: I already have a license. In January 1999 I bought VueScan to use with my slide scanner. That scanner is long gone, but my license for VueScan is still valid. I was impressed with Hamrick's work back then and I am twice as impressed now. Thank you Ed.