SevenCubed - 6:42 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)
I cannot comment directly on upgrading from XP to 8 however your comment:
I think i'd rather buy a new machine than attempt an upgrade.
I think it's the best course of action based on my experience of just having left an old XP Pro box behind to get repurposed as an Ubuntu.
I think something that might help you decide is consider this: My laptop running Windows 8 sitting idle with no applications open or anything of any significance running in the background consumes 1.5GB of 8GB of available RAM. If you don't have much leeway in RAM you're computing experience will probably suffer as a result.