Yo, tsar. Yeah, a long time.
Last week I bought a new Dell all-in-one desktop running Win8. Coming to it straight from XP, I was as lost as a whore in church. Coupla days ago, I got Dell Support to assist me in making a backup and recovering disk, just in case the sky were to fall. Bemoaning to the tech guy about missing the Start menu and all that sort of stuff, he said if I wanted such trappings he could fix me up. So while he had control of the PC via Go-To-Assist, he went to Classic Shell, downloaded and installed the program.
Now I feel like I have a handle on stuff. It by-passes the Lock Screen and boots straight to the Desktop. To access the regular Win 8 start screen, I press shift and click the Start button. The download includes their Classic Start Menu which has 3 styles: Classic, XP and Win7. I can switch between the 3 with ease, but naturally stick with the XP.