If you follow the development threads at MSDN, the idea is to completely phase out 32 bit OS by Microsoft, utilizing Windows 7.
This has become the folks at Redmond's mandate.
Unfortunately I have not had the extra computer for beta testing Windows 7, So I am unaware that there is a 32 bit version.
Logic dictates a 64 bit environment, and 64 bit OS have been around almost a decade.
I stand by my recommendation.
I would not Downgrade to Windows XP Pro for the XP 64, and I am a huge fan of Pro, I honestly thought Microshaft got something done right for once.
That being said, i would not shell out the money, I would get together with people I know and see if someone has an extra liscense, or is tossing and old system with License and software, but I would not go out and spend the money.
I would also run as a dual boot.
Bottom line is the 32 bit environment is dying, for better reference, check history. Look under 8 bit, 16 bit all within twenty years.
Frankly it is a shame that systems have not completely 64 bit already.
Do not let the screw ups of one product halt advancement.
Another Example, how long have game consoles been 64 bit?
I understand that there are folks still using windows 98 and older, but if you are a gamer, you will want to move to 64 bit, and the gaming consoles are proof of this.
Also understand that Microsift maybe pushing the 64 bit thing now, but I have old linux distros that were 64 bit 8 years ago.
So it is nothing new.
I remember folks complaining about XP just a few years ago, I am waiting for folks to cry about their Vista as well. Though seriously I seriously think that Vista will go the way of the Millennium Addition
32 bit is dieing!