You know, I thought about doing something like that 'cause I really like the look and feel of Vista. But I was seriously concerned about what all those extra apps would do to performance. (The debate in mind was whether all those apps would be slower or the real deal--Vista--would be slower.)
Well, I went with Vista, and am incredibly pleased with how well it performs. But I totally get what you're after; I think the polish of the Vista looks suits the Mini very well.
What did what you installed do to your performance? Are they apps that have to load, or is it just replacing Window's own window decoration?