On the Exchange to Notes migration project I'm working on at the moment, its my responsibility to take an existing deployment tool (written in JavaFx) and make it do new things. For instance, remove old versions, remove or upgrade client installs, slap on 852 and any relevant language packs, run these in administration mode, and so forth. All very straightforward stuff, and a bit of fun after 2 years doing a banking application.
I therefore have a monster windows machine under my desk, with a pair of 24" monitors. All the client stuff runs under vmware, meaning that when I go on the occassional road trip, I can copy all the VM's to my Mac, and run them under fusion. So far so good.
Now, the difficulty in terms of doing client installs is throwing around the 500mb client kit, and the 500mb language packs. These are big, and testing cycles tend to be around the 45 minute mark. Very frustrating - especially if you spot a bug at the very end of the process. Vmware makes all this so easy by allowing snapshots of workstations, etc.
I *was* using Vmware server - a quite old version of Vmware, but free. I switched to using Vmware Workstation 8 for windows - and wow. Amazing performance increase, not least because the internal ethernet adaptors are now running at 1gb, instead of 100mb. So thats a $200 investment, for getting back a lot of time.
The other investment has been to purchase a 120gb SSD from Ebuyer.com for around £100 - so just under a pound a gigabyte. Oh. My. God. What an amazing speed increase.
Load time on the slowest application I run - Domino Designer in Eclipse - has went from 'Shoot me now' to 'Almost as fast as designer 7 loading'.
So. Run. Dont walk - to your local computer store, and get yourself an SSD. Make sure you back the thing up so when - not if - it decides to kill itself, you are not completely screwed.
Go do it now.