Customizing Windows 7 alt-tab Experience
Just found this lifehacker- alt tab-tuner-makes-windows-7s-task-switcher-thumbnails-larger-and-much-more
You can even use the utility to switch back to the old XP-style Alt+Tab dialog if you were so inclined.
Similar question superuser- getting-back-the-old-alt-tab-windows-switching-behavior-in-windows-7, Shevek's answer can solve the icons issue:
- Hold down the left alt key
- Press and release the right alt key, keeping the left alt key held down
- Then, still keeping the left alt key held down, tab-tab-tab away to you heart's content...
Perhaps some autohotkey magic can turn Left Alt + Right Alt into just Left Alt. I bet Phoshi can help with that.
Other customizations (which may not help with your specific requests):
vistaswitcher is very customizable
iswitchw filters through a list of open windows as you type—with a semi-transparent dialog accessible by simply pressing the Caps Lock key.
The first can be solved by going to advanced system settings (Hit Windows+Pause/Break (That's Apple/Meta, to you)) and disabling "Use Aero Peek" in performance, and the latter can be changed back to normal by setting
to 1, it seems.
edit: That last one might not be true - I just set it back and the aero-style previews are refusing to return. Hmf. If you don't particularly care, you can disable desktop composition entirely - that'd definitely fix it.