I like the OP's post better, VM's are a great tool to evaluate OS's. Plus, unlike a live CD, one can install software on it, install the printer, whatever needs doing. I use VM's almost daily, VBox & VMWare Player, and get to try out many different OS's.
Live CD is OK, in fact can save the day, with it's powerful virus scanning ability. But while Mint4Win (as well as Wubi for Ubuntu) has it's place, if not careful, it'll wipe out your Windows install. Happened to me twice, won't get a third shot. The thing was, in both cases, I was able to boot into Mint & Ubuntu in this manner, but not Windows, of which it was installed INSIDE of. If anything, Mint shouldn't have fired up.
"Making marijuana legal nationally would not only save valuable prison beds, but also pay down our national debt in a responsible manner"