Get the start menu back in Windows 8

I have been playing around with Windows 8 a lot lately. As I browse the forums at Microsoft, I have realized that they are not going to bring the start menu back. No matter how much people complain, they simply refuse.

I heard there is a registry hack that can bring the start menu back. I have not tried it, but I heard it still works.
Microsoft promises this will be removed in the final release.
So what to do? Windows 8 does seem better in many ways. It boots faster, many of the supporting applications like task manager have been given a complete overhaul and are great.
I still feel like my hands are tied behind my back with the start menu gone. No matter how long I use the new metro start screen, it still is not as efficient as the 17 year old start menu.
I found the perfect answer. It is called classic shell. It is a free utility that brings back the start menu goodness.
You start out by downloading the latest version from here:
After that see the small but important change.
Windows 8 Before:
Windows 8 No Start Menu
Windows 8 After:
Windows 8 With Start Menu
Yea, I admit that button looks like the logo for a well known gas company, but thing is so customizable you can even change that if you want.
There are a bunch of skins you can choose from.
You can get that Windows 7 look:
Windows 8 With Windows 7 Start Menu
The Windows XP style:
Windows 8 With XP Start Menu
Or old school:
Old School Start Menu
The best part is now that you have the start menu, important things are not hard to find (Or many clicks away). All your settings can be easily reached just like in the old versions of Windows:
Windows 8 Control Panel
I almost forgot – the most revolutionary idea of all. A way to shutdown without playing hide and seek with your computer (If you have used Windows 8 on a non-touch computer you will understand this completely):
Windows 8
All of it you can change. It has so many options you can spend hours tweaking it to get it just right for your desktop:
Classic Shell Options
Just like Vista I believe the time will come when you are forced into it. Need to purchase a few machines for accounting? Oh sorry only Windows 8 can be pre-installed.
At least with the classic shell you can configure these systems so you don’t have re-train all your users.