I tend to agree with jounk76, install Windows 7, plus any Data or other partitions that will be used for Windows, then install Linux Mint.
As to the bootloader, there are options so that one can retain their Windows one, one is Easy BCD 2.2. ...
The cool thing about installing the bootloader with Easy BCD, is that you can remove Mint's option to boot, then format the partition, all w/out destroying or need to repair your Windows bootloader in the process. You can even set the default OS to boot to within the settings.
Thanks for your information. Can you explain what you mean by, "plus any Data or other partitions that will be used for Windows"? Oh, I think I answered the question at the bottom (you'll see) just now... I just realized since you capitalized Data that you're probably referring not to data (lower case) but to the partition onto which I'll put my personal data -- true? I didn't catch that at first. But I'll leave my question at the bottom in case I'm wrong.
Regarding the bootloader, are you saying that installing Linux after installing Windows will normally delete/destroy the Windows bootloader (replacing it with its own, Grub, as mentioned by jonuk76), and that's why you mention EasyBCD as an option for retaining the Windows bootloader?
Can you explain why I might want to retain the Windows bootloader? I'm really very new to partitioning, dual booting (except with Linux live) and many of these concepts.
I did follow your links to learn about EasyBCD. I also read about it on Softpedia, and even watched most of a ten-minute YouTube video describing it. I have heard of Neosmart and, for reasons I've forgotten, have a favorable impression of them. Though I can sense potential usefulness from the program, I don't know enough about these topics to convolute my already-intense learning process and further delay installing these operating systems. :-) It's possible that last sentence I quoted from you (above) explains it, but I didn't fully understand what you were saying.
One more question, and maybe this relates to something you said: During the process of installing Windows (assuming I do that one first, as you both recommend), are there options for setting up partitions right from the Windows install program? If so, should I do so then and there -- keeping in mind my goal, mentioned in the top post -- or would I be better off waiting til that's done and doing partitioning from within the Linux Mint installer or something like GParted? (I'm also just barely familiar with GParted.)