So I finally got the stupid box open and got the thing installed (which was quite painless I must admit). I did a clean install, not an upgrade, and I'd recommend you do the same if you are considering upgrading to Vista.
It automatically found drivers for pretty much all of my hardware, save for my sound card, which was easily solved by quickly downloading the Vista drivers from the Toshiba support web site.
My laptop came with a TV tuner, so I took advantage of the fact that Vista Ultimate has Media Center built in. I connected it to my cable and recorded an episode of The Simpsons, which I then put on my Zune -- the whole process was super easy (and very cool!).
So far I like it. It's performing as well, if not better, than XP did on my laptop, so I'm not sure what all the nay-sayers are whining about. Seems to me that some people just desperately want to hate Microsoft products, even when there is no real reason to do so.
It's worth the upgrade.