I used to need to futz with the registry in XP on a regular basis. Don't run Windows any longer (occasionally in a VM, but last time was probably 6-12 months ago), so it isn't on my radar.
All that aside, I just took a position with Panasonic as a Senior Linux Systems Engineer - finished the 10,000 pages of paperwork and waiting for drug test and background check results before I start. I expect to get a Panasonic laptop when I officially start, and it will probably run some sort of Windoze operating system (either 7 or 10) for office cruft. That is what happened at Nokia, where I was doing Linux development exclusively. I had to install Linux in a VM in order to do development work. So, using dual external monitors, I would have Windows on one screen, and Linux on the other. Worked well from the productivity standpoint. Office cruft on the left, Linux on the right... :-)
FWIW, in 2 1/2 years at Nokia using Windows 7, I never had to futz with the registry and such. It was very stable. The only issues were related to USB thumb drives. Every once in awhile it would refuse to recognize them. I would have to remove the devices from the hardware registry, then reboot. After rebooting, it would reinstall the driver and recognize the drive. Total PITA, and I was not the only person with this problem. I had to post a group Wiki page to tell people how to deal with that when it happened.
Pretty much. Even though I am comfortable with editing the registry I still prefer to make mods by creating .reg text files and using them to add/edit/remove entries. And, of course, I do full disk images so if I do accidentally brick my system I can just reload the last good image.