Folks I finally got Windows 8 installed after building a new box. This thing is really fast and the new version of Windows has many improvements under the hood to handle the newest hardware. It took me a couple of days to get used to the new interface ... Don't believe all the hype about needing to install a program to restore the Start button ... it's not needed!
I installed an AMD FX-4170 CPU rated at 4.2 GHz ... I have it mildly overclocked to 4.6 GHz and it runs very cool with a liquid cooling system. The new redesigned Windows has been rock solid ... no issues with a fresh install or noted in Device Manager. Be sure to create a Startup Disk prior to installing any programs ... in case something goes wrong.
The new solid state hard drives make a huge difference in your Windows Experience score ... Win8 used about 30 gb of space, after visiting Windows Update to get the latest updates.
Not bad for a low budget box (under $600) ... as for the HOSTS file, once you exclude it from being scanned in Windows Defender, it will install exactly the same as in Windows 7. The details of how to exclude the HOSTS file can be found here: "Hosts file is detected as malware in Windows Defender (Win8)"