Are you telling me that Microsofts windows 7 does not have the capability to automatically go to a website to download the latest drivers for the product???????
Yes, that's exactly what you are being told. It is not Microsoft's responsibility to provide users an easy, convenient way to get to the manufacturers website for each and every one of the devices in their system. It is their job to provide generic drivers for each of these devices so at least basic functionality is achieved when Windows 7 is installed. For the most part, they have done this. Don't blame them because you are too f***ing lazy to type in a web address, or a search term into Google.
If you are telling me that windows 7 is slower in many respects than a 7 year old XP system, I would say that is absolutely SHAMEFUL.
I don't know who told you that, but technically, my 7 year old XP system is much slower than my main desktop running Windows 7. It's all about perception. My perception is that even on fresh installs of both operating systems on identical systems, Windows 7 still appears to be snappier than XP. You have to be your own judge on that one.
I would be interested in knowing why windows would pack old drivers on the windows 7 install disk without having some kind of link to the latest drivers.
In some instances, they do. It's called Windows Update. Though I personally don't trust Windows Update for new driver releases (see typing a search term into Google, above), it does technically qualify as what you are describing above. Microsoft included generic version of old drivers in 7 because they knew many of these old pieces of hardware were not going to be supported by their respective vendors any more, and Microsoft being the kings of backwards compatibility, included those drivers so people wouldn't start complaining about how their 10 year old hardware didn't work as soon as 7 was installed.