I found that 8.1 was rife with issues for my desktop and laptop :(
On my laptop the sound drivers were replaced with generic Microsoft ones, and I was unable to change them. They were constantly blasting 100% and wouldn't let me mute them. On my desktop it was throwing unhandled exceptions with just about every program at start up. Additionally my event logs were cluttered with tons of critical errors. A real bummer. If I had a way to wipe my drive and go straight to 8.1 it wouldn't be an issue, and this is exactly why I recommend never "upgrading" your installation of Windows. It's a shame I can't upgrade my Windows 8 key to 8.1, even for a nominal fee.
8.1 is being pushed as a service pack though, and I never had these issues with XP going to SP1/2/3, or with 7 going to SP1. I guess the difference here is that previous service packs were just bundled updates and 8.1 is a re-jiggering of how Windows 8 worked.
@s10129107: I have noticed since upgrading from 7 to 8 a couple things. Mostly decreased boot speed. It over all seems snappier when opening large programs as well. And this was on both SSD and HDDs. Plus there's just little perks, like being able to mount ISOs without needing 3rd party software, the extra information on screen when moving or copying files, etc. The real reason I stuck with 8 is because I just like the aesthetic though - I know a lot of people dislike how Windows 8 controls and after using it on a touch screen laptop I totally agree. At this point I'm so used to Windows 8 that going back to 7 feels the same as it did going back to XP/2k when I'd been using 7.