So since my Lumia 820 is with Nokia for repair, I've been using my old Focus. Today for sh*ts and giggles I flashed a 7.8 based ROM on it, just to see what its like. Now, of course, I know this isn't the OFFICIAL rom, blah blah, but it matches up with what Microsoft has said it would look like (namely, the new start screen only).

1) The ability to resize tiles is REALLY nice, but you do get over it pretty quickly. I had to go BACK to WP 7.5 from 8 and I didn't really go "oh MAN this is awful". Its a nice thing to have, but doesn't ruin the experience of Windows Phone if you have to stick with 7.5.

2) It really is only the start screen. There are a couple of things "here and there" that look like they could be in final 7.8 (bing Lockscreen, for example, but no lock screen options other than that). WP8 is DEFINITELY more customizable.

3) Wow is WP8 fast compared to this. Again, I know its a first gen unit and blah blah, but EVERYTHING is super fast on 8 and on the newer hardware. It really is worth an upgrade if you can swing it, there is NO LAG period on the new WP 8 devices.

4) That being said - I could live with this if I HAD to. If I was still under contract with a Lumia 900 or just wanted a cheap smart phone, I could live with 7.8 for a while. Its really not bad. Other than differences to some media stuff (Xbox music, etc), a few apps, and some customizations (like the lock screen and "kid's corner"), you really aren't missing THAT much.

That's it, any questions feel free to ask.