The story of Vista and Windows 7 reminds me a bit of Windows ME and Windows 2000. Windows 2000 was a very solid operating system. It was preceded by the Millennium Edition (ME), but that version flopped.
When Vista came out, so many people compared it to Windows ME. Now that Windows 7 is around the corner, I think more people are ready to admit that Vista really was a disappointment and that Windows 7 may rectify the situation if it's a solid OS.