Try Foobar..Its not much to look at but its fast and gets the job done.
Oh and about VLC, it does run on Windows
I would go want Winamp it has the best quality for your musical taste, but that's just me.
If you get Winamp, also try out the Foxytunes extension for Firefox. Integrates player controls into the browser. Somewhat useful for extended surfing sessions. Might even work with Foobar2000, but I haven't tested it personally.
I'll go allong with winamp, its defo easy to use and because its so well knows yell find all sorts of cool stuff for it. You can even use it to host you're own internet radio i think.
another alternative is The Core Media Player, its more intended for video codecs etc but it also plays a great variety of audio formats.
Features and supported formats
I'd have to agree with everyone on this one WinAMP is light and easy on RAM and plays excellent a second would have to be FooBar2000.
Winamp and Itunes are the ones I use.. Itunes because of my Iphone...