I don't have a client system that's worth trying it, but Windows 11 should support SMB Direct if you're using advanced NICs and have links that can take advantage of them. I think Windows 10 needed some weird workstation version to use it, but on 11, we can supposedly enable it via Powershell. Infiniband stuff is cheap if you don't want to spend a bunch of money on 10GbE (and also don't care much about whether or not you have a graphics card).
Changing default applications *is* absolute bullshit on Windows 11. There's just no way to say "Give application X all of its defaults." That's particularly aggravating for things like general purpose graphics viewers or audio players, but also for the browser specifically. At least Webkit/Edge isn't the pukefest that prior Microsoft Browsers have been, but it's still a sore point that I can't just copy over a profile including extensions and have them work on unmanaged client PCs like I can with Firefox.
I'll also throw in another HUGE recommendation for Chocolatey.org, which is an amazing package manager for Windows. Microsoft has WinGet, which is fine for grabbing dev tools and Windows admin stuff, but doesn't tend to have the best repository for third party tools. choco is more or less how I put everything on client systems now, aside from a couple browser addons. uBlock for example can be loaded from chocolatey, but chrometana, a must-have for Edge, can't.