Originally Posted by Buzz
You're welcome. If you need help along the way, let me know. I'm no genius, but I deal with it daily (2003, 2003R2, 2008). I don't have my MCSE (or whatever they're calling it these days) so I'm probably not much help when it comes to the MS-tested Microsoft Way Of Doing Things.
I second Chris's recommendation. I've got Technet, and it literally gives you access to pretty much everything MS has sold in the last 10 years. I think you can even download Windows 95 if you want!
Additionally, if you've got the dough, pick yourself up a used HP XW4400 or XW4600 off of eBay. I mention this one specifically because A. they can be had cheap, and B. they run both Citrix Xenserver and VMWare ESXi (free versions) without a problem. I've got two at home, and they're fantastic for having a test environment without having to start up Virtualbox every time.
Windows 2008 R2 domain controller
Windows 2003 R2 running Citrix XenApp (so I can use Office on my iPad
various Ubuntu Linux servers running media streaming apps, backup services, web services, and MySQL db's.
You can get them for like $200-$300:
HP XW4400 | eBay
Just make sure you verify with the seller which CPU it is, and that it's 64-bit, virtualization capable. It makes me ill to think what's available for people to have test environments at home. I wish I had Technet all along, it's an amazing tool.