The new windows are in! They were installed yesterday and we're already seeing improvement, quite literally. The old windows have not been washed for some time, especially on the outside. And plus their seals were worn out, so the condensed moisture collected between the panes. So it all looked very crappy. But with the new windows (and a large patio door) we can see clearly now!
Also, these windows seem to provide a much better insulation than the old ones. First, these are energy-efficient argon filled pure-vinyl windows. Second, the installers caulked all the little cracks between the windows and the house frame. So now we can sit/stand near any of the new windows for quite some time and not freeze. And did I mention that unlike our old painted-shut windows, these ones are very easy to open?
It's too bad that only half of all the windows in the house got replaced though. But hopefully we will come into money (miracles happen, you know) and fix this issue.