Windows 8.1 released the "start button" again but all it does is go into the Modern UI but you can get around that again by installed a Start Menu replacer.
Two that I have used the most and seem to work the best are
1) Classicshell.net. Constantly getting updated, on version 4.02 the last time I checked. It just works wonderfully.
2) Stardock.com's Start8. It's $5 or $8 with the Modern UI Window maker (forget the name, turns the full screen Modern UI Apps into Windows). I recommend the Package deal because Modern UI Apps are pretty horrible because you can really do anything on your multitasking computer, it kind of defeats the purpose in my opinion.
Also if you are going from 8 to 8.1, you'll need to resetup the Classicshell by running the config or just redownloading and repairing the installation. Pretty easy though.