At the suggestion of my buddy Brad, I set up a Windows machine under VMWare Fusion (as opposed to Parallels, which is what I’ve used up until now).
I am absolutely amazed. From the time I pointed VMWare’s virtual machine setup dialog to my Windows install media it took a mere 11 minutes to create the VM, install Windows XP Pro, reboot, install the VMWare drivers, and reboot again. The machine was completely ready to go in 11 minutes. So far, the machine seems *really* rock solid and responsible.
Wow. Beat that with a stick.