Here's the real story..... M-Audio stated on their website that they wouldn't even start development of Vista drivers until after Vista was released, as Microsoft kept changing the specs, and M-Audio had no way of knowing what the final version of Vista would be. So they couldn't develop drivers because of Microsoft.
And yes I did do my research before buying Vista, and knew my M-Audio card wouldn't work from day one, but I thought drivers would be available in a short period of time...as it turned out was about a year long wait. So what do you do in the meantime ??
So now a couple of years later, Vista drivers are available, and do indeed work with the Vista compatibility mode of Windows 7. The compatibility program in Vista did not allow XP compliant drivers to work with Vista. So obviously they improved on the compatibility program in W7, which I am very happy about, as now I'm able to use my M-Audio card with W7.
So now you know why I dumped Vista for XP. For a long time, professional grade sound cards just weren't available for Vista as nobody had Vista compliant drivers, so most pro's I talked with, also went back to XP for music production work. Some of the pro's I talked with, hated Vista for many reasons having to do with audio production work. They got better results using XP. So XP became the norm for audio pro's. I liked Vista, but I didn't like the idea of my hardware not being compatible with it.
Now that my hardware is compatible, everything is hunky dory.