This post is for Vista users that might have run into the same problem.
I've been transitioning Michele from a homebuilt XP system to a iMac running Vista. Everything had been going along smoothly until I tried to import some photos. We've always used her computer as the import station for all our digital cameras. The photos are backed up on several other computers.
The issue is that the default Vista camera import method sucks, mainly because you can't select which photos you want imported and where to put them. It's an all or nothing arrangement. This may be great for for 90% of users, but many of us want to be a bit more selective about how we import and place our photos.
In XP, we had the Scanner and Camera Wizard, which was pretty damn good. I used it for years with no problem. Seemed simple enough to me.
The Vista team must have disagreed and made the new import system basically into a on-click, no options process. As a result, many people feel that the default Vista Import method is inferior to the XP import method.
The last couple days, I have done a bunch of research on alternatives. In the end, I found that Windows Live Photo Gallery is the solution. I'm not sure why it doesn't come with Vista, but it's a free download.
Importing with Windows Live Photo Gallery gives you back all the features of the XP Camera Wizard. It gives you the option to import everything or select individual photos or even groups of photos to import into specified folders and rename as you desire. There's even an Autoplay option to always use it when you connect a camera.
I'm quite happy now with the solution and Michele is ready to move to her new computer full time.