Windows 7 is an important step towards a more reliable OS.
Not too long ago, I had Windows Vista and while many people found it difficult to work with, complained a lot about it's usability features, poor resource management and other, I found it both useful and stable. Of course, I also tweaked it here and there to suit my needs.
Now with Windows 7 I no longer feel the need to tweak the system so I can save a 10-20 MB of RAM, 200-300 MB of disk space and so on. I feel that Microsoft finally learned their lesson. And about time.
It was also expected to come out more faster, in my opinion I do believe that the Windows XP users of today will shift to Windows 7. Those that did not have a reason to switch from XP to Vista now have a pretty good reason to switch from XP to 7. Provided also that you have decent decent hardware.
My system right now runs very well on 2GB of RAM, you may try to experiment with 1 GB or maybe you can even say that 1GB for you would be enough. But I run many applications, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, some virtual machines and 2 is GB acceptable / livable.
I also liked the fact that Windows 7 has this new taskbar (but if you don't like it then you can still make the taskbar look like in previous version of Windows - Just set in Task Bar and Start Menu Properties - Use Small Icons and set Taskbar Buttons to Never Combine).
What I found to be a downer is that I wanted to use XP mode but I do not have Intel Virtualization and I just could not use it. So keep that in mind if you want to use virtual machines.
Also interesting is when I want to view movies on my TV in Vista I would have to enable the TV through the properties page in display setting but in Windows 7, I just hit Win+P and can choose to duplicate, extend or just the second monitor / tv to be active. I like that feature a lot and use it all the time.
If you have eye problems like I do, you will find the magnification feature in Windows 7 particularly useful - just hit Win+ and that will zoom in or use Win- to zoom out. (You will also see a magnifying glass if you want more control over the magnification).
In Vista there is a reliabilty monitor, an application that would grade your system based on how stable all the software and drivers was. This is still present in Windows 7, but it has moved to Action Center > Maintenance > View reliabilty history.
All in all, Microsoft has made a good system even better; while I did had some driver problems (my laptop was bought in 2008) I did manage to get a fully working system in the end.