If you have the choice, choose 7 Pro.
Windows 8 is really only beneficial to tablets and touch screen computers.
I wouldn't exactly say "bad press". More along the lines of users trying to install software that wasn't compatible, plus a change in interface style which they weren't used to. If the UI was closer to Win 7 we'd be seeing the "useless UI" complaints switching to "its not any different from Win7" complaints.
All the same, I would say go with Win 7. Its more established, better understood, and more likely to support legacy software.