Just a few quick opinions from a few random blogs I've come across (and Nick's).
The second thing I noticed when RC1 started up for the first time was the new mouse pointers. The standard mouse pointer now has a shorter stem and looks much more sleek. Also the 'waiting' mouse status was changed. Instead of getting the old and standard hourglass, you now get this nice little swirling circle that looks a lot more modern. Some very nice touches just to the mouse.
Another change is the Starting and Exiting screens we get with Vista RC1. Those screen were present in Beta2 but not very pretty. Especially the text. It looked kind of old and non-standard with the rest of the OS. But with RC1 the text is bigger, and smoother looking. A nice and welcome change.
As I noted previously, I moved our home desktop PCs to Vista. More accurately, to dual boot on two of three PCs - I am still holding off the migration of the kid's PC (lots of legacy games installed there), family laptops and Media Center (due to a known driver imcompatibility).
I found that my experience with Vista RC1 over the last week at home and at the office has mirrored a number of reviews I read last week [...] Overall, I have found that many problems I ran into in builds at the office are gone, and stability is up dramatically.
Last night I put build 5600 (RC1) on my now "old" 20" iMac so I could test its stability as a development platform. Virtually everything worked out of the box, and the BootCamp 1.1 drivers covered what didn't. The inbox audio driver thought it was the right one, but it output no sound, so I had to resort to the XP audio driver (bummer, because the new audio stack is hands down the coolest new feature in Vista to me).
Also after the initial start of the install I didn't require the cd anymore which was pretty cool. The startup time (boot) is much slower than Windows XP Professional and if you are wondering, there is also no splash screen at this version during the startup. The new login screen is amazing and the graphics are just wow!
To some up everything in one sentence. Windows Vista is nearly there.