If you wait for Microsoft to change you won't ever move to 7. That being said you can set 7 up just like XP or 2000 or NT, you just do in a slightly different way. I'm running Home Premium so this tutorial will be for that version, Ultimate will have the same structure though. If you have 7 on all networked computers then just use Homegroup if you want to, I've heard its easy but have not tried it, I have some Vista and XP networked computers so I can’t use Homegroup.
1) If you don't have 7 on all computers you have to stop Homegroup. So hit window key, type network, chose network and sharing center. Chose Change Advanced Settings. Settings:
Turn on network discovery
Turn on file and printer sharing
Turn off Public folder sharing, unless you want everyone to be able to read and write files in the Public folders
If you have XP through 7 use 128-bit if not use 40 - 56 bit.....AFAIK?
Turn on password protected sharing
Use user accounts and passwords to connect to other computers
2) Now go to Start type netplwiz, you can use Computer Management in Ultimate but in Home Premium thats a no.no. us Home Premium users are not that "sophisticated"
Add an account for every user that will share files or printers on your computer
3) Now go to Start/Computer
Right click on any drive/folder you want to share and choose Share with….Specific people, add your users or just select everyone
4) You can disable the 2 Homegroup services in services.msc if you want to.
5)Thats it...actually pretty painless.