1) My startup is about 10 seconds slower with an i7-3610m/SSD/16gb RAM on Windows 8 than Windows 7. Windows 8 actually boots quicker, but then it loads my startup apps very slowly, and I can't do anything until they're loaded.
2) Out of the box it has crippled functionality in order to push the "app store," which on non-touchscreen devices is fairly useless.
3) Media player
Overall, Windows 8 is just an ugly compromise that makes for a poor tablet OS and an inconvenienced desktop OS. I would recommend anyone with a strong reason to get Windows 8 to try to get Windows 7.
I'm surprised people have not heard of start8. I have been using it since windows 8 rtm and I never see the metro tiles, it boots straight to desktop and has the windows 7 start menu. In fact if you showed it to someone, there would be no way to tell its windows 8.