I wouldn't say Vista was fine at its initial release. There were reports of several pieces of hardware that worked fine in the final RC that didn't run at all with the final release. The only ones we noted were relatively minor - audio and scanners, that ran fine in the RC, but not with the final release. I think it was HP that went ballistic because their Vista machines worked with the RC, but not the final release, and then spent months in a nag fest with MSFT rather than writing new drivers. Although it shouldn't have been necessary to re-write the drivers between RC and final release, for HP to then take months to fix an issue that should have been resolved in two days was inexcusable. So, for HP not fixing the problem promptly once it was discovered, I will strongly agree that there were lazy OEM developers that were at least in part to blame for the resistance to Vista (though, that cited as only a minor cause for resistance). In that case, while HP didn't create the problem, it certainly exacerbated it. While our audio driver issues were resolved promptly, it took several months for HP to get around to getting their scanners to work. Some of their Vista printer drivers, most notably those for their piece of crap known as the Color Laserjet 2605dn, still suck (it can take 30 to 40 minutes per page of a PDF file under Vista, about half that under XP, and instant from Linux - though the one Nats announcer (Bob?) would appropriately call the printer a "jam job").
But that wasn't my initial big beef about Vista. What I didn't like was MSFT having no idea about how to implement security while maintaining functionality. Out of the box, it was a productivity nightmare. Also, the implementation of IPv6 was half-a$$ed (upon its initial release, that alone was enough to make Vista unsuitable for the casual user). But, at least it, like the security "features" was a known issue throughout the RC period as well, and the workaround was well known in the tech community. Still, it was a bit of a shock those kinds of issues made it through to the final release. After tweaking for an hour or so, including disabling all Vista's security "features" and installing third-party software that both actually worked and allowed the user to work, Vista ran pretty well. We had about a 15-page list of things that needed to be tweaked on Vista out of the box. It wasn't that big of a deal on a relatively few number of machines in a small business and where everyone is capable of implementing the tweaks, but it was time unnecessarily wasted due to Vista not quite being ready for prime time out of the box. In a larger business where relatively few IT personnel have to implement the tweaks on thousands of machines, it could be cost and calendar-time prohibitive (the latter virtually always cited as the reason to stick with XP in those organizations). While an unnecessary pain, for us it was a worthwhile one. We were early adopters of Vista, having it on front lines immediately upon its release. For times when I had to work with Windows, within a few days of its release, I chose Vista over XP. I think I even beat Chief in migrating from XP to Vista for when I have to work with Windows.