You are pretty much right on the money. If a program is showing as *32, it means the actual executable is a 32-bit application that's compatible with your 64-bit OS. That's also why you have a Program Files (x86) directory...so you know when an app is being installed it will choose the proper directory based on its coding.
Some programs, however, are not compatible, and can't be installed. Usually, in those cases, either a 64-bit version exists, or an alternative exists. If you feel that some good system utilities aren't compatible, post them, and well find you some good replacements.
This is probably my 5th year of running x64 exclusively, and I can probably count on one hand the number of apps I have found that will not run and don't have 64-bit equivalents.