I use the Dual Scan II and VueScan, although I've not yet got around to 7.1.7 - I'm still on 7.0.something, as I can't be bothered to download the new version at the moment (dial in modem!). I'm sure that if you spend enough time tinkering around and experimenting with the Minolta software you will get good results from it.
I tried the Minolta software and whilst the "out of the box" settings produced reasonable results, it didn't produce results that either I was happy with or which would have been accepted here. OK, so I could have spent more time working out how to "tune" the Minolta software to get higher quality results, but at the time I didn't. I was already curious about VueScan anyway because it was recommended on this forum, so I downloaded the trial version. It gave me almost instantly acceptable results without any significant amount of tinkering with the settings. In this instant gratification world, going for VueScan was an easy choice for me!
If you want any further "guidance", I bought the scanner on a Saturday, started playing with it on the Sunday, and tried VueScan on the Monday. I uploaded my first ever pic to airliners.net on the Wednesday (scanned using VueScan), and it was accepted. Now, about 95% of my pics (530 odd) on airliners have been scanned using VueScan. The few negatives I have scanned have been done using Minolta's software, which I now prefer for negs, and this also allows me to leave VueScan set up as I prefer it for Kodachrome 64.
Hope this helps,