I seriously put in doubt that every bad opinion expressed about Win ME bases on personal experience.
Look here, 2/3 of all votes tell ME is the worst one, but as ME has never been very common, I even doubt 2/3 of all people have ever used it.
My personal experience covers Dos, 95a, 95b, 98fe, 98se, ME and W2k (marginally Xp), and ME isn't that bad:
- It has working USB 2.0 drivers, while these plagued 98fe and 98se.
- It has working Internet protocol programs and Internet connection sharing, while 98fe has none.
- It ships with Dll newer than 98-98se, meaning fewer are replaced by applications, leading to fewer blue screens.
- It boots a bit faster than 98-98se do, if you have enough Ram.
- Its Defrag is way better than 95-98-98se, its FDisk has one bug less. And it has the pinball!
- Most of its other "improvements" must first be switched off, granted.
Blue screens were often provoked by authentic hardware faults at the time of Via chipsets. On a Via, my 98se was as stable as a piece of soap. Now, I maintain a ME on a Sis chipset, it's been stable for 3 years.
All together, I got huge amounts of anger with 98-98se and little with ME - though none of these is as stable and swift (but difficult to install) as 95.
And I will replace my W2k as soon as Microsoft gives up Wga and activation, meaning that my next one could well be a Linux.
So I fear the horrible reputation of ME relies little on direct personal experience and much on rumour.