A guy named Brandon has built a couple of very helpful enhancements to Vista Instant Search & Indexing. Below is the latest which I just discovered while updated Start++.
Indexer Status Gadget
Wed, Apr 09 2008
This gadget displays status information for the Windows Search indexer. It also allows you to pause and resume the indexer as well as quickly access the Indexing Options control panel.
If you have installed the Windows Search 4 update for Vista (currently a “preview” release) you can also enable “Index Now” functionality.
Version 1.1.1 uploaded 4/12/2008 11:51AM PST