Started using a new laptop recently with the OS installed (as delivered) on this drive
Was going to immediately remove and reinstall to an SSD, but it's extremely snappy already. I reboot maybe twice/month. It sleeps/resumes as fast as an SSD IMO
My wife's laptop has long been this ACER
which is also making use of some 320GB laptop HDD. I run chrome / firefox / wmc / xbmc (usually 2 of 4 at a time) without any perceived delay. It's as snappy as the server htpc on a vector. Sure program installs take a little bit longer, but the majority of that time is typically spent with the d/l wait anyway.
There's long been a whole bunch of SSD-only-OS discussion, and I'd say there's a whole bunch of reasoning for them. However, a sleep/resume or always on device that doesn't multitask more than 3-5 programs at a time probably only sees a placebo type benefit from an ssd. If anyone else still uses computers booting their OS from an HDD / SSD with different expereince chime in, but I'd feel pretty confident that a majority of this thread's "Boot-from-HDD" contributive experiences died with Core2 and the RTM days of Windows 7 where boot always took quite a bit longer anyway and their tech was much slower. I'm running the laptop OS from the aforementioned HDD on an i5 3320m, 8gb ddr3, and w7 64 pro.
Also my VMs were getting too big to keep adding to my vector back on the server htpc, so I began booting / running them from the WD 1TB blue drive I leave outside the flexraid array and expected a big performance hit in the VMs. I didn't experience that hit however.
Long story short, if you're using a server that is well setup "as-a-server" instead of a workstation then don't even bother