Virtualisation is obviously the hot computing technology of the moment. We make good use of virtualisation where I work in order to really get around weird Windows limitations where it seems dislike multithreading.
The good thing now is VMWare Workstation is free so you can use images anywhere.
What impressed me though is that as part of the pursuit of X-Box Media Centre for Linux they have the entire development environment available as a VMWare image. That makes life so much easier for developers! It means you don't have to fiddle with your settings and deal with other potential conflicts.
It is just a great way to use the technology and lower the barriers for development and guarantee a consistent development environment. Obviously it is not the official way to do it but the fact it exists is pretty darn good.