Ok, I'll bite.
I get it. The start screen is new/different and the 'modern' apps don't work as well with a KB/Mouse. That said, after using it for a few months I just don't understand why all the 'hard core' (seems they are always in IT) users seem to hate it. I hit start, I type what I'm looking for, and hit enter. It's the same exact thing I do in 7, except now I have a full screen start menu instead of an out of control cascading menu.
If you can get past that one (admittedly large) change, 8 is better in every other way. It boots faster, has a far more efficient kernel, and has tons of other core OS improvements that I'm rather happy about. Which brings me to my next point.
I'm building a new HTPC specifically with Windows 8 in mind.
That's right. You heard me!
My Home Server V1 is dying. She won't boot, I think my board is fried. My HTPC is also very old. She runs well, but it's time for an upgrade.
I intend to build a Windows 8 Media Center Server using Storage Spaces under the covers. I will boot the OS off an SSD and take all my existing Home Server drives and add them to one storage space. The other PC's in my house are already running Windows 8 Release Preview and will get RTM when available. Having everything in my house on Windows 8 has advantages over what I have today making this seemingly crazy idea a potentially good one.
I will lose image based backup, but thanks to Windows 8 I don't care. After using Windows 8 for several months now I've realized how well the built in cloud backup works. It backs up favorites/settings/passwords/backgrounds etc etc. Paired with SkyDrive for my roaming/important stuff takes care of 99% of my backup needs.
Storage Spaces seems to be an improvement over WHS V1 Drive Extender in nearly every way. I've read that the perf isn't amazing, but it really doesn't need to be. If I need to, I'll carve out a separate partition for my Recorded TV and other media that doesn't require duplication.
I realize Windows 8 isn't for everyone, and I too wasn't a fan of the start screen at first. Then I realized I just don't care. On my desktops, I hardly ever see the start screen, and when I need to use it, it is no worse off than the old start screen was (subjective).
Windows 8 with Storage Spaces opens up new capabilities for me and should allow me to save some real $$$ by letting me combine my server with my HTPC. The IT guys may hate it because it is different, but not me. I appreciate the new features and more efficient kernel far more than the perceived regression of the start menu.
Resume Windows 8 hate in 3....2....