After some digging I found that the feature in question had changed name to "offline files", and now only applied to the Business, Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista.
I reallized that this was a typical Microsoft gest just to squeeze a bit of extra money from us customers, but wouldn't allow them to beat me this time. I therefore decided to continue my quest for a free solution which lead me to Syncback.
After a bit of testing I found that Syncback did exacly what I were looking for, and decided to recommend this as a great tool for others in the same situation as myself.
External review: http://tinyurl.com/cfod5l
Syncback website : http://tinyurl.com/9mxgp