The special magic thing is to hit the Windows key + X. That brings up a menu that has pretty much everything you'd want to do from a start menu. Win + X also works on desktop Windows 8.x.
The hilarious thing to me is that the Windows 8/Server 2012 line is ironically the most keyboard centric version of Windows I've used, but all people want to do is bitch about the Modern (Tile) interface that you can completely, totally ignore if you're on something that has a real keyboard and mouse.
Also, Windows RT? It's not awful. Printing and scanning work great and they have real USB and storage support. Surfaces ship with Office pre-installed. RT is missing a lot of media consumption tools that are present on other mobile OSes, but as a device for doing work they're credible. I'd rather have an RT-based Surface than anything that runs iOS, though I'd prefer a good quality Android device to either.