I just got my mother a new laptop and included Vista Home Premium and Office 2007 Home and Student. First, Vista Home Premium is pretty much everything Ultimate is (see: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/choose.mspx)? So for the price break ($218 vs $351), I’m a fan of Home Premium.
But more importantly, Office 2007 Professional is so expensive (http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Professional-2007-VERSION/dp/B000HCVR30/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1203395233&sr=1-1 $399). So it turns out that Home and Student Edition has Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote!! What else could (the average person) need? And best of all, it’s only $119 (http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Home-Student-2007/dp/B000HCZ8EO/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1203394921&sr=8-1)
So to me, this makes a great combo for a home machine. Although that may sound obvious given the names of the product (including "home" in the name) – it just seems like in the past, the "Professional" edition was the first reasonable version of things out of Microsoft.
Anyhow, just my $ .02