Why did you need a new USB 2.0 controller and ports? My USB 2.0 peripherals worked fine with my old USB 1.0 computer.
Step back from Office and Works. There is a new world order, it is called OpenOffice:http://www.openoffice.org/
It is free, people, free, and includes everything the high-end super-duper mega-Office program you use at work does. Including database. Plus more, because you can save anything to PDF. It opens Office files, saves to Office Files, and in three months of using it in a corporate environment and not telling anyone, I have not seen any compatibility problems. Well maybe with PowerPoint, or maybe that file was just created with an older version.
Become an Open Source evangelist and spread the word, lots of programs can be found here:http://sourceforge.net/index.php
Don't worry too much about beta but look for high activity, over 90%.
And get rid of Internet Explorer. If you want hand-holding go with Firefox, or spring for the full Mozilla Suite:http://www.mozilla.org/
For antivirus I've only been using AVG free for about two weeks, but I didn't get the dreaded "low on virtual resources" for almost a week! We'll see if Norton withdrawal happens, but so far so good.