The install that I started yesterday worked! Well, mostly. The bootloader for some reason is messed up, but the autofix mechanism of the Vista install DVD cleared that up. Also, the pausing problems can be REALLY bad. Updating the Nvidia display driver always reduces them, BUT changing the effects settings has now affect.
Looks like I’m stuck with an OS that pauses every now and then. At least until the next update.
I must just point out tho that my Linux system, with the X composite manager running, is WAY more responsive than XP. To be fair, I’m going to attribute it to the pausing problem, but I have a suspicion that it is just kinda slower than Linux in general.
I did get my Linux boot manager reinstalled, so I am successfully dual booting between Linux and Vista when I need to. I’ll try and give more details on Vista at a later date.