No.. It goes deeper than that, and I do not just interact with people who have problems. I attend conferences with other IT professionals, I spend a lot of time with users, the geek in me hangs out fairly often in computer stores, and I am pretty much the go to person among my friends and family if they have a tech related question. I have not talked with anyone yet who thinks the start screen is better than the start menu that preceded it. It isn't, and I will tell you why later in the post. If you feel I am wrong, refute my on a point by point basis. I can see, that with touch, it would provide some above and beyond functionality that would merit it (AS AN OPTION). Even still, it is poorly executed, and lacks basic functions that would have made it that much more user friendly.
This is why it is hard to swallow, and if you honestly think more people like it than not, based on what you are seeing in these forums alone, than you are really out of touch with reality and need to spend less time in this forum, and more time reading the news, reviews, and talking to the general user base.
1) Start Screen lacks basic organizational features. Like it or not it just does. Basic things like folder, or grouping tools, are utterly lacking. This means, that every .exe that used to load into the previous folder structure on start menu, now gets it's own icon on the windows 8 start screen. What you get is a flat, stupid, smattering of icons stretching out to the left. Woo hoo. Each icon that is not a Windows 8 app, is a box with a tiny icon in the corner of it. These are not intuitive to find by looking. They just are not. And once you load about 15 apps, including things like Adobe creative suite, Visual Studio, etc, you will have damn close to a hundred of these stupid icons. It renders the entire concept useless, unless you are someone who is willing to spend a goodly portion of time maintaining it. I am not, so mine looks like a horrah's nest.
2) No widgets. Yep, no widgets. What you see is what you get, a bunch of icons. Here is nothing less than just another example of a missed opportunity. If you are going to devote an entire page to start, why not make it more palatable by adding some additional functionality to it. IE, I click it an I can see running programs, a list of upcoming appts, cpu useage in a graphically pleasing way, avail ram, etc. etc..
3) Very little room for customization. Yep, contrary to what all those commercials say, I think the Start Screen is really un-customize-able. We are stuck using their backgrounds, their colors, and their icon format etc, unless we want to install 3rd party apps, which are kind of crappy.
4) It is difficult to find things. This is a carry over from the other complaints, but it is true. Of course, yes, I can type what I am looking for with the keyboard, but I could do that before as well. This is now what I most often do, cuz I would be lost without it. Seeing your apps laid out in alphabetical order, in neat folders, is a thing of the past, and it shouldn't be.
This is all I am going to type for now. I interact with IT people and users alike. I have lots of friends, and am known among them as someone to go to with tech questions. To argue that I live in bubble of win8 haters, and there-fore am bias, is wrong. I was a huge supporter of Win 7 as a beta user right from the get go. I also liked the graphical improvements of Vista, though from a performance perspective, I hated it at first (legitimate gripe). Still, I ran both OS's right away even before they were released, which is something I have done with Win8 as well. There are some things to like about Win8, but the lack of choice is not one of them. The start screen is not better, and telling me that I can install 3rd party apps to get this functionality back, is a bs argument. I have used them. I prefer to not run 3rd party apps that alter the ui. It is a shame, that we are forced to do this, and I am forced to install these apps on friends computers to make them happy again. I don't generally like adding startup apps if I can avoid it, so in fixing a friend's computer, I now get to feel like I am kind of breaking it at the same time. Thanks a lot MS... Just a shame all around.