If you plan on skipping Win8, or plan on sticking with Win7 forever (or any other version of Windows, for that matter), you might want to get a real retail installation disk and not an OEM restore disk made specifically for your pc. With a retail version, you could install and run it in a VM, and the host OS could be either the latest version of Windows that will come with your next PC, or even some flavor of Linux (a better choice). Just make sure you have plenty of RAM installed, as you will need enough for both the host OS and the one running in the VM.
It's easy to back up, easy to restore, easy to transfer the image from one PC to the next, and the next, and the next, without having to "reinstall Windows and all your software".
Whatever OS my next PC is running, I plan on doing this with XP, just so I can keep things how I like it and run all my older software that won't run on anything newer. Might even create another image with WinME, just for the heck of it, and so I won't have to use the ancient snail pc to run a few old apps and games that won't even install, never mind run on XP.