I don't know about that. My HTPC in my sig takes only about 60 seconds to go from hitting restart to getting back to the Windows 7 login screen. I tested it a few minutes ago. For comparison, my gaming rig with SSD and windows 8 takes about 20 seconds. I've never felt that my HTPC took too long to restart, even when my wife was waiting for live TV to come back. The 4 tuners -with resulting lack of conflicts - and massive storage more than make up for 40-50 long restarts. My wife agrees with that statement for what its worth.
Your wife is more... patient than mine. A 60 second reboot is enough to get the eye rolls and two stinging questions about why we have this expensive box to watch DVDs instead of a $100 Blu-Ray player.
Also, after a bit of time (once all the updates installed and I got all my settings correct) I didn't need to restart my HTPC much at all. I probably restart it no more than once a week now. I think I went the whole month of February without having to restart.
Mine is exceptionally stable except for hibernation. The implementation is messed up somehow and it interferes with PowerDVD's display detection or something. After I resume from hibernation, PowerDVD is convinced that I'm running two monitors and refuses to play Blu-Ray discs. Also, Netflix is unstable after resuming from hibernation, to the point of requiring a hard reset. I suppose I could just leave it on all the time, but I pay the electric bill and it's bad enough as it is.
And has anybody used Ninite before?
I have. It saves a lot of time and I've had no issues with it.