It's not really "not wanting to do an Apples to Apples comparison" so much as it is "wanting to cut through marketing malarky."
Microsoft crows about sticker price (using very carefully defined scenarios). VMware screams about TCO (again, using very carefully defined, enterprise-only scenarios). The answer is very much so in between.
You answer is very much the same with the discounts schemes of the two as it is with the retail pricing. VMware is better as the low end and at the scale end. Microsoft absolutely cleans up in the middle. But neither one is guaranteed to be a better deal than the other unless you analyze the very specific cases for each customer. Microsoft is not cheaper than VMware. If can be, in some circumstances, but it also can be a lot more expensive.
For Microsoft to be cheaper you have to be working in Microsoft guest OS licensing and presuming (heavily) that these will be the predominant VMs in use. That's less and less the case these days. CentOS is spreading like a weed in the datacenter, even in enterprises that were traditionally Microsoft shops!
In addition, you are presuming that Hyper-V and VMware are equal. They aren't. My experience shows you can cram more VMs per host in almost any given environment onto VMware infrastructure than Microsoft, lower your costs there as well.
I'm not even touching the OpEx costs with a stick except to say that OpsMan is way easier to use. That's a subjective thing.
I'm no VMware fanboy here. I'm not a Microsoft fanboy either. I think both companies charge way to much and screw us all up and down the pipe...but in the real world neither has a decided advantage. Both have areas of strength and weakness, in operation as well as pricing.
Microsoft was best for the hobbiest. Well, until they killed technet. Fuckers.
VMware owns the up-to-three-node space. Microsoft owns the space between that at somewher ein the middle of the commercial midmarket. From there VMware takes over again for a spell. There's a brief area around the "this turns into proper enterprise territory" where Microsoft is cheaper for a bit again and then VMware is going to consistently be cheaper.
With very few exceptions, retail pricing means bupkus and is only a fraction of the costs that have to be worried about. Neither solution exists in isolation. It's not just the licensing that's an issue, it's that - quite frankly - almost nobody buys "full stack from one vendor" solutions. This is on some instances a purely price issue. In most others, however, it's because the OpEx costs of third party offerings are so significant that they outweigh any benefits of the "complete stack" play.
Maybe if this were 2006, where Microsoft was ascendant and a virtual monopoly in the datacenter it would be easier to call. But they're not, and they won't ever be again.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some CentOS templates to build.