I’ve just switched from VMware Server to the latest VMware Player for running local dev images. The start up and general interaction with virtuals is much much faster on my little dev box which consists of a 64bit quad, 8GB of RAM, and just under a Terra Byte of free hard drive. So generally a fast machine that isn’t really phased by too much but still running VMware Server on Vista 64bit proved to be slow and a hassle. For example I had to reboot and disable driver signing whenever I wanted to run server.
Aside from the compatability issues with Vista apparently VMware Server is optimised to run in headless mode and player is optimised for UI interaction. So it’s best to use server for light test/production environments and player for day to day development where heavy UI interaction is required. Download latest VMware Player here, http://www.vmware.com/download/player/