Have you actually used Windows Live Mail? It is a pretty hideous client (IMHO) and importing from OE isn't exactly nice as you end up with all your emails buried deep in a nested folder structure. Also I can find no way to use local contacts within Windows Live Mail - AFAIT you have to export all your contacts to a hotmail or live account online - not exactly friendly.
I do use it everyday ! Granted, the GUI could be leaner, but it's OK. Like with OE, you may move windows mail storage folder to any location, and it's only as nested as your folders are (sort of). I have even installed the antispamsniper plugin for WLM available since recently (they develop one because it seems WLM is the default e-mail reader on Win7).
I did manage to import my local contacts but I know that was a pretty hidden feature. I did all this again for my Mother in Law (and no, I don't hate her), from OE to WLM, and this worked fine.
Also, I had a major dbx file corruption back in 2008, where almost all my e-mails from 2005 to 2008 got truncated more or less, probably a "nice" result of OE dbx compression. No such thing in WLM, so I wouldn't go back to OE.
I do miss a lot one feature from OE : when I click on the move to folder button, and a folder requester opens, it no longers answers to keyboard keys, so I cannot type the first 3 letters of the folder to jump to it, I have to scroll down, which is annoying. I now have a new logitech mouse with a wheel turning freely, I give a good nudge on it when I want to go really down and that usually works, but it's still less convenient than typing the beginning of the folder name.