Process Explorer also has a "replace Windows task manager" option - it's now my default on all machines. But I would also recommend Process Monitor
from the same site - great for seeing what programs and files are actually doing. Set a filter to only show, for example, files created or modified by blah blah name (eg, install.exe) and find out exactly what is being done. Especially handy if a program or driver install causes odd problems.
Home server: Asus P5Q Pro, Core2Quad, 8GB DDR2, ENGTX260 876MB, Zalman 800w, Antec P180 case, 2x1TB and 2x2TB Samsung Spinpoint F1, Windows 7 64-bit, etc
Work server: HP ProLiant ML350 G6, hexacore Xeon E5645 2.4GHz (12 logical cores), 16GB DDR3, 3x300GB SAS RAID5, Server 2008 R2, nVidia GT560Ti 1GB for Hyper-V RemoteFX acceleration