I'd also consider the option of VirtualBox.
I've tried all 3 of them. I decided to stick with VirtualBox because at the time, both VirtualPC and VMware didn't allow me to use AltGR to insert special characters while VirtualBox did.
On the other hand, currently i'm using VMware Workstation (now it supports using the windows key as "host key") and it's way superior to VirtualBox (ubuntu runs noticeably faster), so i suppose that from those3 options, i'd go for VMware player.
On (yet) another hand, I'm not sure if VMware allows you to create new machines, i think it only allows you to use "virtual appliances" already made by someone..
These are pretty similar products, but if you're going to be running windows, probably Virtual PC is the best option, since it's made by microsoft and works quite well with windows guests and hosts.
 After re-reading this post, i want to apologize for making it this confusing. In conclusion, i'd go for Virtual PC [/edit]