re: Small files
"My question is this - do you ever transfer a large block of tiny files around your HDD/SSD?"
If you use your SSD as your system drive, then yes. You can use SysInternals' File Monitor to verify this. The concern isn't really about small files; it's about small transfers (whether those transfers are individual files or parts of one file). The reason is that an SSD controller can only write data in 32KB blocks (as opposed to 512-byte blocks for HDDs). So for an SSD to write less than 32KB, it needs to read that 32KB from the flash memory into RAM, save the new data to the appropriate spot in RAM, then write that 32KB block from RAM to the flash memory. This is the block-level, so whether the data being written is a file or not is irrelevant.
Here's a small sampling of activities that use small writes (most are 4KB or less, but all less than 32KB): Windows writing to the registry, Firefox 3 writing to its sqlite databases, IE and Firefox writing cache files, reading your email, compacting your folders in Thunderbird (compacting my folders just used 18,000 writes of size 4KB or less), opening an OpenOffice document (OOo issues many 1KB and 8KB writes to temp files), installing programs, VMWare (almost all writes to the virtual disk are 4KB or less, and all that I saw while booting the guest machine were less than 32KB), and Apache (writing to log files).
So yes, you do make a LOT of small transfers if you're using an SSD to replace a HDD (which is, after all, the intended purpose of SSD). I'm not sure about Vista (I don't touch it), but when formatting a disk in XP using NTFS, it still defaults to 4KB cluster sizes (and the HDD standard of skipping the first 63 sectors), which will result in an SSD with even poorer performance. It's certainly possible to get great performance with SSD, but software needs to rewritten to use 32KB transfers.