The lack of menus is disorienting at for someone who has used menu driven windows since Windows 3.1 came out. I think it would be helpful if the swipe from edge gestures worked by bouncing the mouse against the edge in non-touch hardware. Even in mac full screen mode, bumping the top of the screen with my mouse brings up a narrow menu band.
That said, shortcuts are your friend in Windows 8. See Microsoft’s site for the shortcuts – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/new-keyboard-shortcuts#1TC=t1
I’m quite comfortable with keyboard shortcuts and use them daily on my windows 7 (and previous) machines, but it seems interesting the easiest way to get around a touch operating system on mouse based hardware is keyboard shortcuts. Works for me, but 90% of the people I work with will move their hands off the keyboard to click.
When you get the hang of it after a few days, the shortcuts are pretty fast for navigation.