Seriously? Strange, yuou must have not installed many programs or hardware. Win98SE was solid for me, and after upgrading to WinME I managed to see so many crashes and slowdowns, that I had to remove it, I just could not keep using it.
Maybe you were luckier with the hardware...
I had a former room mate who loved XP and refused to upgrade. His computer crashed all the time with the stock Win 7 build. I asked him when he bought the computer. He said the first month Windows 7 came out.
Turns out Dell did not update its drivers and got him an XP laptop with a Windows 7 sticker and image slapped on it. sigh
When Windows 9 comes out is right around when I plan to upgrade. I will be very careful where I get my hardware or stick with Windows 7 for a little bit. The hardware made for Windows 7 wont have the QA and testing for Windows 9 until 6 months after it is out. Same with apps. Windows 7 slowed down a few apps if you read early benchmarks. Things like audicity and Adobe products worked but exhibited slowness due to bugs that needed to be fixed in later updates.
The same probably happend with your ME machine. With XP I bought a genuine intel motherboard and brand name parts. I updated the bios and drivers before I installed it and lucked out. I remember people with XP having issues if you did not own a Dell. Dell's were the ones known to work best until SP 1 came out 9 months later. They were a much better company then and did the QA properly unlike HP.