after reading gilmor's comments/complaints in the sjmerc about XP, which were mainly the crippleware aspect (which users of the corporate version don't have to worry about), and the built-in attempts to get you to consume (buy, buy, buy!) through various pre-installed softwares, i decided i could take it on in a couple hours; it was easier than expected.
all of the "consumer" links can be judiciously trimmed by spending a few minutes in the "windows components" section of the "add/remove programs" control panel.
other stuff i've found in a couple hours' worth of stoned toying-around:
the profile-transfer utility, if it works properly, will make my life a *lot* easier while i still have to do the occasional round of desktop support. (yeah, i'm slumming it... but $30/hr remains $30/hr.)
default logins displayed on "ctrl-alt-del" screen- i'm sure there's still a registry key to get rid of this, but it's still retarded. to make matters worse, there can be as many as 5 recent logins displayed, instead of just the previous one (as was the case in nt/2k).
ok, i'll comment more on this later, i've found something else i want to post.