Why is installing MySQL on Windows Vista such a bear? For someone who is not
a professional database administrator, it seems like I am jumping through hoops.

This page
http://forums.mysql.com/read.php?11,200958,204223#REPLY
pointed to this page
http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/brian_kelley/archive/2008/04/04/installing-5-0-51a-mysql-community-edition-on-windows-vista.aspx
which suggests this page
http://port25.technet.com/archive/2007/03/16/mysql-on-windows-configuration-install.aspx
which points to this beautiful pdf file
http://port25.technet.com/videos/research/MySQL_Windows.pdf
Ah, now I am getting somewhere.

It suggested I turn off the User Account Control (UAC). Which I did.

But after following these steps
There was an error at the end of the installation that said that the server failed to start.
[IMG]http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h292/Athono/help-1.jpg[/IMG]

Where do I go to find answers?

I had a similar problem, try right clicking on the .exe icon and then 'run as administrator'.

Let me know if that helps.

The problem is in doing a clean uninstall.
I ran Revo Uninstaller and it worked.