I have been getting error oxc00000e9 which seems to suggest that the USB, Hard drive or DVD drive may be the problem, but I've disabled or swapped out all of those and still get the same error. I gather it is not unusual and often seems to be due to a bad ISO burn so I have burned another DVD, this time at 2.4x rather than 8x and, when I get home, I'll give it a bash.
Sure enough, the slow ISO burned DVD worked perfectly... installed in about 15-20 minutes.
I have not had the chance to do any performance testing or anything yet (had to keep the missus happy once I finished the build... mommys day weekend and all) but will keep you guys posted on anything I find.
Windows experience is 5.9 because of the hard disk... the next lowest reading is 6.8 (out of 7.1) so the machine flies.
Win7rc boots in maybe 20 seconds and only has 30 processes at present.
It is also a very clean interface and seems intended to be used for actually doing stuff... then again, my experience of XP's initial setup may be distorted by the fact that it was on a Dell and so had the normal bloatware and something over 60 processes to start with.
Either way, I have a 1TB Caviar Black. Sure, the Velociraptor would go higher and so would a SSD, but it boots in 20 seconds and I have to wonder what I would do with any more speed ! Yeah, I know... you can never have too many hamsters and no, it probably won't run Crysis with all the eye-candy at a decent framerate unless I add a second 4870. Then again, does anyone actually play Crysis or is it purely used as the modern equivilent of Flight Simulator... the ultimate PC test ?