Gray is definitely out. The folks at Microsoft bathed Windows XP in color. Don't like XP's look? To switch back to the Classic look that resembles Windows 2000, right-click the desktop, select Properties, click the Themes tab, and choose Windows Classic from the drop-down list. Voilà! You're back to comfy shades of blue and gray--not to mention having all those familiar icons.
Click "Switch to Classic view" in the upper-left corner of the Properties dialog to bring back the familiar Control Panel icons of earlier versions of Windows. To get back to a Start menu that looks more like Windows 2000's, right-click in an empty portion of the Start menu's left-hand column, select Properties, and go to the Start Menu tab. Select Classic Start Menu. To bring the new look back, just reverse these steps.