Re: I think that the following is the key issue here..........
(except that sooner or later, the hardware will fail and then you're fucked).
Except that I have spare parts for systems that old and you'd be surprised at the difficulty (not) of keeping older equipment alive. The system, hardware and software, have already proven their reliability. That machine, even singular, came together under some blessed stars (or pick your religious blessing) that day. Oh, by the way, the US Navy regularly uses (extremely) old equipment. On my ship, until we through a yard refit, had radios that were built in WWII. You bent tabs to tune them (it changed the capacitance). I also posted before that while I was in port in the Philippenes I called my mother (ex-WAVE AT2) for advice on a particular TACAN (VORTAC for civilians) problem. I followed her recipe and it identified the problem. She should know, she worked on the self-same equipment way back when (post WWII, pre-Vietnam). So keeping the old/antique running is in the blood. Or it could be that she started teaching me engineering at age 6.
We still have a Windows 2000 Advanced Server that the only time it reboots is if a power failure lasts beyond the UPS battery life. It doesn't go anywhere near the web, nor is it connected to the network in any way. As for W2003 Enterprise, you'll pry it from my cold, dead.... It already lives in a VM on an isolated system. If I were in a snarky mood, I'd set up my W2003 Web on a VM for the ultimate honey-pot. Been there, done that, was a great venus flytrap.