I went to Sony support to see what they had to say. It's below.
I understand your concern on installing the Linux operating system in the VAIO. I regret to inform you that Sony's VAIO computers are fully supported only for the version of Windows which was pre-installed at our factory. If you decide to install an unsupported operating system; we cannot guarantee full usability, or functionality of all the original features.
NOTE: This includes, but is not limited to dual-boot configurations.
You can boot your VAIO computer from external devices, such as an optical disc drive, a USB floppy disk drive, or a USB flash drive by using the BIOS function. Refer the URL provided below to view the information on booting your VAIO computer from External Devices: http://esupport.sony.com/docs/pc/SVS13A ... 01/01.html
Note: You may not be able to install a different operating system, if the Boot Mode is set to UEFI. You may try changing the Boot Mode for Windows 8 UEFI systems to Legacy mode and check if it helps.
Before changing the operating system, it is strongly recommended that a Recovery Media be created. The Recovery Media is bootable and can be used to perform a Recovery on a properly functioning hard drive. You can create the Recovery Media from Recovery Area using VAIO Care software. Below is the URL with the information on creating Recovery Media: http://esupport.sony.com/docs/pc/SVS13A ... 12/12.html
Thank you for understanding.
The gist I got out of this, through all of the disclaimer junk, was that the installation media won't work in UEFI boot mode. I switched over to legacy boot just today. I now have Windows 8 and Linux Mint 14 installed. From my point of view I don't see any real detriment to not booting in UEFI mode. The old MBR way seems to work just fine. Especially since it's the only way it seems to work.
For what it's worth, I did have one minor problem with the install in MBR mode. When I re-installed Windows it didn't completely overwrite the existing GPT data. This caused the Linux installer (and gparted) to think the HDD was completely unformatted despite the fact I had several partitions set up from the windows install. This turned out to be a simple fix. You just need to run "fixparts" to fully erase the GPT. See the following link.http://superuser.com/questions/293339/g ... en-but-why
fixparts doesn't come with the Linux Mint live CD/USB so you'll have to go grab it. Opening a terminal and typing "fixparts" presented an error which shows the "apt-get" command. Not sure how well the "apt-get" will work with a live CD, but it worked just fine with a live USB. Once I ran fixparts the installation process detected all the partitions and the Windows installation. Everything went smoothly after that.
Hope that helps. Long story short, I'm thinking twice about buying a Sony again.