> And finally, we're using Windows XP x86, so both computers are in need of a current
> OS. It'll be Windows 7 x64, but should I go with Home Premium or Professional? Can
> Home Premium run VM programs like VirtualBox or VMWare Player without choking?
Home Premium will run those fine; the only advantage virtualization wise to Professional is the free copy of Virtual PC and "Windows XP Mode", but that's easy enough to handle with VirtualBox or VMWare.
> And a semi related question, are Blu-ray burners worth the $100 or is the technology
> still too new to be viable? I ask because of the 25GB disc size and the fact that the
> price per disc has become somewhat reasonable.
The nice thing about BD-ROM burners is they're still expensive enough to be fairly well built. I have a piece of software that comes on 8 DVDs; it literally burns out your typical $30 Chinese DVD burner before completion, but my BD-ROM burner has no trouble with it. And yes, 25GB on a disc is very, very handy.