I have found that Windows Vista is one of the more unstable operating systems, even for Microsoft. Not only is it unstable, it's slow, and a lot of products do not work with it. The solution to this is easy, and it's what I have finally given in and done. Switch back to XP. If you want ultimate stability, of course Linux is probably your best route, but if you're more comfortable in the Microsoft world or you have other reasons for using Windows over Linux (driver support issues, etc.), get rid of Vista and just go back to XP. Even new PCs are coming with the option to "downgrade" to XP, not a good sign for the future of Vista at all.
The only thing you really have to worry about with "downgrading" is driver issues. If your computer came with Vista, there's the possibility that you will have to search for all the drivers you need in XP versions (or at least the ones you need to get online to find the rest) before you wipe out Vista entirely. In most cases, these drivers should be readily available from the manufacturer's website.
If you're not comfortable backing up your data and installing an all new OS, you should be able to find someone else to do it for you, either a friend or family member or a local computer shop or independent computer specialist.
The first thing you'll notice after the switch is how much quicker XP takes to load, and the benefits just keep coming after that.