A bit of advice to make Vista more stable is to ensure you have Vista compatible drivers installed right after you boot your desktop for the first time. After that, immediately go to Windows Update and get all critical updates and review the "Optional" updates as well to see if you need them.
Another thing a lot of people miss are the Vista Reliability updates. Microsoft releases these at any time of month, not necessarily on patch Tuesday. Also, many of these reliability updates are NOT available through Windows update (not yet
anyway) so you would want to go and find these manually on the Vista section of M$, download them, and install one by one. You don't have to reboot after each one, just wait until all of them are installed.
Go here http://www.dozleng.com/updates/index.php?act=calendar
and look on each calendar page to find any updates from MS$ (look for red) and go back several months to make sure you don't miss any.
Once I got all the updates I needed, I found Vista to be MUCH more stable.