I'm typing this on the second laptop I've ever owned, and the first one that actually shows the color red on the screen. I purchased an IBM Thinkpad R51e on craigslist for $150.00. There's nothing really special about it. It's a very solid machine, has a 2.6 GHZ Pentium M with over a gig of RAM, a CDRW drive, and a 15" screen. It does have a 4200 RPM, 40 GB hard drive, but I can buy a 5400 RMB, 120 GB hard drive for less than $70.00 new.
It's some of the simple things, some of the items the developers obviously cut corners on that ruin my experience with Windows. It is also the lock down, the "hand holding," the obfuscation and hiding of system configuration and administration behind easy to use GUIs.
Not that GUIs are bad, but few things are more frusturating when a GUI is the only method of configuration, and the developer of the GUI has decided that you, the administrator, does not need to change.
An interesting article on Slashdot pointing to an article at gadgetzone.com.au which points out what features Windows 7 must implement.
I'm obviously bias, but I think the author is picking out what he likes most about Linux? It's funny how a few years ago, Linux had to be more like Windows, but now, Windows needs to be more like Linux.