After solving some DVD issues I had I finally installed RC2 of Vista over lunch on a separate partition on my main Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop. My experience this time was far better than the last time I tried it, and certainly better than Sam's initial experience.
Total installation time from booting off the DVD until I was on a full desktop working was about 30 minutes. Glass worked right out of the box, even supporting the full widescreen 1920x1200 of my laptop screen (which didn't work last time). Performance seems to be good, though I haven't installed anything yet. This is also the first time the machine can actually finish the performance rating process, giving it a 3.4 (didn't expect much more, really). Only downside so far is no audio out of the box. Might try installing the XP sound card drivers later on to see if that works.
I also had installed RC2 on my older Compaq Presario 2800 laptop, as I have done in the past with previous builds. This didn't go so well. While the installation worked without any problems, the box sticks to the default VGA drivers, with acceleration completely turned off (so you don't even get DirectDraw 2D support). Hence, it isn't even useful for playing Spider Solitaire or Mahjong, both of which I rather enjoyed playing on RC1 on this machien (they worked very adequately).