Yeah, must have been my surrounding setup; I set up LMDE Stable but with the .39 kernel. However, I experimented with some things and came up with a way to get VMware running!
So VMware works fine on the .32-5 kernel, it needs to compile extra modules but that works fine. However, on the .38-2 bpo squeeze-backport kernel, it gets hung up on Virtual Network Device compiling. I found a fix for that, involves editing a little code, but nothing too crazy:http://communities.vmware.com/message/1735857
I made those edits, and voila, VMware properly compiles and runs on the .38-2 bpo kernel. Figured I'd share for all my fellow LMDE Stable users out there, and I'll mark this dude as closed (VBox and VMware both work under specific conditions).
the beauty of linux is that the rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it to go.