I don't see any performance differences between it and Windows 7 so if you disable metro then that's what you're getting. You can launch Metro apps directly without being in Metro, once I figured out that Windows 8 became bearable. I just launch Netflix from a desktop shortcut and removed Metro altogether. It's not that the start menu is more efficient or even useful, its that metro is disruptive and jarring. None of the interactions make sense for keyboard and mouse use. They couldn't even do the search properly, I have to select the category manually instead of going straight to the top result.
I got it for $15.00 so I'm not going to gnash my teeth and wail about it though.