The result was a bricked laptop.. well almost bricked.
Bricked based on sound card issues? I could be wrong but I thought the term 'bricked' refers to an unbootable device due to a corrupt BIOS? How can sound card driver incompatibility corrupt the BIOS, or in the case of Windows 8 the UEFI. Overstating issues can discourage potential adoption. It's certainly not that I'm in high favour of MSFT, or Windows 8, but that issue doesn't blend with my understanding of 'bricked'.
Oh, and if you go win 8, you really should fork over anotheer 200 bucks for a touch screen.
Why do you feel that way? I've been using it for a few months and not once have I felt I need a touch screen. In fact I know that I don't. Nor would anyone else using it on a desktop.