Minimizing a window and THEN hunting for the icon to click possibly takes longer than using the start menu...
well it's winkey+D then muscle memory, it's surely faster than traversing the start menu.
Also for notepad, I've its icon on the taskbar in the visible portion of the quicklaunch, it's at click range everytime.
I keep the handful of utilitarian icons in (browser, notepad, calculator...) in the visible portion of the quicklaunch, and the other apps I use organized by folder in the quicklaunch ">>" menÃ. Also apps that respond to drag-to-icon are aligned on the sides of the desktop. I almost never need to dig the start menu.
Same on OSX, I've the utilitarian things in the dock plus alias grouped in stacks.
It's everything there, one or two click far away, all the time.
Anyway, I don't contest the snappiness of the quicksilvers and spotlights.
They're indeed blazing fast, and also they don't need to be curated and optimized like the point and click launcher devices of the various OSes.
I'm just saying that if you take the time to set up the GUI to your usage patterns, you rarely get lost in clickitis and menu scannning.
Also, keyboard launching is perfect when you spend most of your computer time hands on the keyboard, like I guess most developers or writers, less so when your work is mouse centric.
When I'm typing html or coding php, I tend to use keyboard launcher more, but when I'm photoshopping it's ankward. I can "cmd+space then F" with the keyboard hand, but I need to leave the right hand from the mouse or traverse the keyboard with the left hand to hit enter.
I can click the spotlight results with the mouse but it's easier to go for the docked icon target.
Also, when I'm reading in the browser or loosely editing graphics, I often stand with the left hand scratching my head or smoking a cigarette or whatever, so no hands ready on the keyboard.
Also, switching from windows to osx often, I tend to mess up with the key combos and shortcuts.
The point and click approach is less confusing when using regularly more than one os.
My experience is that the GUI context assist me better. I often catch myself trying, say, to cmd-space on windows or to winkey-e in osx, but I've never mistried to go for the osx dock on the left side in windows, or to reach the quicklaunch down left in osx.
There are many UI approaches as there are users, so there's not one single better approach for everyone.