Hi Cerb, please can you expand on "Win7 SP1 aligns new partitions to 1MB on pretty much any storage device"?
I would be installing an old version of windows 7 and then updating it with SP1 after the install.
SSDs are internally organized into two main units, pages and blocks. A page is the smallest amount of data that you can read or write, but the SSD can only write to a blank page. A block is the smallest unit that the SSD erase (i.e. make all the pages blank). Pages are typically 4-8KB and blocks are typically 512KB-2MB.
The reason that alignment is important is that the OS likes to issue writes in as large of a unit as it can. This started off because HDDs handle large writes much better than small writes, but also has advantages for SSDs because it reduces effective bus overhead. If your OS writes are not aligned to SSD blocks, but instead overlap slightly, you're making the SSD to twice as much work (two blocks instead of one). Note: This is a gross oversimplification of what really happens, but it gets the idea across.
Not to fear, you can download Windows 7 SP1 Media Refresh ISOs right from Microsoft's digital distribution partners.
Also..do you think I should consider windows 8?
Windows 8.1 is fine, and improves on Windows 7 in a lot of ways. The Start Screen is a little annoying, but you can replace it with tools like Classic Shell.