As far as I know, the NTFS version on Vista and its more modern kin use a transactional model to do the writing and reading to disk. Although that is an extra layer, in most cases it makes the filesystem faster and more reliable.
Until things go wrong, but I explained (or at least tried to) in a previous post on a different thread that I managed to make the Operating system lose contact with the file system (W2008 R2), which destroyed two huge Oracle test databases I maintain.
Anecdotal, but here goes:
Even after aligning the partitions on my XP computer I still feel that the new NTFS version on my W2008 R2 computer is faster (both use SATA2 disks).