The bechmarks suggest that are about the same.. I had Windows 8 on my gaming box for 1 day.. and reloaded Windows 7 back Thats just me though.. I think Steam being intergrated with the start screen would be pretty cool.. but I just like Windows 7 better..
Going down to the SSD route would be great.. Windows 8 starts up very fast with those.. One thing I did like about WIndows 8.
It's all about personal preference.
I went from 7 x64 (Ultimate) to 8 x64 (Pro with Media Center) - along with every game that I ran on 7, new titles I've added since, and even old titles that could never run right on 7 x64.
No SSD. No touch screen. What did I lose going from 7 to 8?
I have found 8 both more stable (less crash-prone) and more compatible (and with more games) than even 7 - which was the king of compatibility to that point.
Steam games? Not a single solitary issue or quibble. As far as the lack of Start Screen shortcuts, please; if a Steam game creates a desktop shortcut, it ALSO creates a shortcut on the Start Screen.
What I have seen (so far) is that the majority of Windows 7 fans love the Start menu and also have many nested submenus - which is something I have despised about ALL versions of Windows that supported submenus. (It gets so bad it looks like a "bracketology" seminar - if I wanted such a thing, I'd go into fantasy sports management, or run a sports book.)
I have not a single issue gaming on Windows 8 x64 today.