As Mark mentioned a couple weeks ago we got some new machines at work. (Briefly: dual 2.0 GHz Xeon, 1.25 GB RAM, dual-head capable, dual IDE drives.) First: I’m moving to using Windows XP for my workstation at work. (Previously I used Gentoo, what I use at home.) Eventually we’ll move these machines into pair programming use where I’ll be using XP all the time, so I might as well get used to it now. It’s not as bad as it used to be: cygwin makes life easier, XP is fairly stable and the Java apps are pretty much the same on both systems.
Anyway, now that I've had a chance to use it for a few days I'm impressed. Many tasks are 5-10 times quicker -- running the unit test suite takes 5 seconds (versus 35); starting up JBoss with all our apps takes about 25 seconds (versus 4+ minutes); doing a clean rebuild which includes generating thousands of classes, compiling them and building them into their respective JAR/WAR/EAR files now takes a little over a minute (versus 4-5). Awesome.
Plus this machine has dual-head capability, which I've never used before. I'm hooked, although I still like virtual desktops too.