I really can`t understand why Windows 8 has had so many negative comments. Everyone sees the awful metro interface and think its a completely new experience over 7. Its not.
A lot of people complained about the start button disappearing in 8. Just download the free and awesome 'Classic Shell' and your problems are resolved. Classic shell also lets you boot straight into the desktop and disable the charms bar. Sure, 8.1 now has options to do these things, but seriously? Just get Classic Shell.
Lets face the facts, the metro interface does NOT work on laptops. Its awful and totally counter productive. Just get Win 8 or 8.1 to look and work like 7 and you won`t see any difference. I lent a friend one of my Windows 8 laptops and he had no idea it was running 8, he thought it was 7.
8.1 is fast and has some nice UI changes over 7. But in short, if you are happy with 7, there is no need to upgrade. There are no advantages. But if you are buying a new laptop or this full version of 8.1 you have nothing to worry about. Its awesome.