I'm a minimalist. Windows 7 default shell isn't what I'm looking for. I know that alternative shells replace "explorer.exe" and thus change the look and feel of the desktop.
I still use Linux but I have many programs which require Windows 7 to work (i.e. Steam, FL Studio, etc.). Awesome is my favourite WM when I use Linux, DWM is a close second. I liked Awesome because I didn't have to compile it every time I wanted to modify it. Awesome is very modular in design, which is why I like it.
I haven't seen anything that works quite as well as either Awesome or DWM. There was HashTWM, but it was buggy and left this very odd gap in the middle of my screen. BBLean is nice. It's a very different experience that deserves the title of "Blackbox clone". It does a very nice job. Unfortunately, as it's a stacking WM/shell, it will not work for me.
In short, I'm trying to find decent, possibly customisable tiling window manager/shell for Windows 7. That, or steps I could follow loosely in order to port Awesome/DWM to Windows 7. It would really help me to know either of those.
Also, can someone suggest a Windows alternative to UZBL or Surf? I really like those web-browsers, but they are limited to unix-like systems.