I got used to not having the start menu. You can literally type what you want and it finds it.
Or I can just click the Start button and click the program. It's a symptom of Windows 8 to make everything that took a simple one or two clicks, now takes several more, a swipe, and/or some typing.
My nephew's laptop came with Win8. I didn't use it much, but I can't say I liked what I saw.
I've set up three computers now, with Windows 8, and it still hasn't grown on me. It just feels kludgy on a laptop and desktop.