Just make it easy on yourself.
1. Install Windows 7
2. Load drivers
from your MB disk.
3. Run Windows Update
4. Activate Windows 7 (It makes "Zero" difference if you Activate before or after updates)
5. Load your apps and enjoy...
The suggestions related to when to activate, or if you should load system drivers direct from the manufacturer or use Windows 7 drives, or any other sequence variables are no more than "urban legion" based on steps users have gone through to fix their own particular issues.
To suggest otherwise means that MS screwed up and that end users are fixing MS's incompetency... Hardly believable considering Windows 7 is being installed 1000's of time daily without issue. If there was a real problem we'd hear 'bout it!