Well worth the time
Enjoyed both the content and format - and that's coming from one of those critical app (in my case e-mail) curmudgeons that is anti-virt for a lot of what I do.
That said, we are very big on Lotus app-layer partitioning (multiple Domino instances on a single OS) on Redhat and we can push close to 2x the capacity of seats/data/concurrent connections by running it in this manner on Linux vs. Wintel... and with Linux (and the other UNIX variants that we support) we don't have to worry about the OS letting the app partitions step on each other (unlike Windows). Essentially we get the same net effect as virtualization without having to manage multiple OS instances.
Of course, for Exchange we're stuck with a 1:1 Exchange/OS so virtual does have more appeal on that end... especially for one client that we're currently rolling out 200+ Exchange 2010 servers for.
Still, at the end of the day with either our approach over the years has pushed us to simplify our architectures to remove complexity and points of failure (understood that not everyone comes to the table having dealt with multiple 5-6 figure seat count Messaging environments running everything from Groupwise to Zimbra) as MTTR when something goes wrong is crucial. The less variables and moving parts in place the quicker we can identify and resolve the problem.
We have an aversion to Virt the same as we have an aversion to SAN... who your neighbor is will impact how you are running and when the business goes ape shit over a piece of mail being delay by 5 minutes, every second counts.
Yeah I might be a neanderthal to all you guys but at the end of the day, I would put our availability numbers and client satisfaction up against anyone.