Buying the upgrade doesn't mean you have to install it right away. I will be getting at least 3 upgrade licenses, one i will install on my ultrabook for testing, and the others will just be using the cheap price for the choice to use it later. Still have to give it a serious test on my desktop to figure out if its working for me.
I've been recommended "Star8" to bring the start menu back and boot directly to the desktop, i'll most certainly give that a try, but maybe i can just get used to the new start screen. As with any new tech, everyone should give it a try before judging it.
The HTPC is running just fine as-is, and short of the OS its all custom software, so no WMP/WMC, so in the end, it doesn't really matter to me if its Win7 or Win8, it'll stay 7 until it needs to be rebuilt for some reason.