Web Species Blog: Virtual Machines for Web Developers
Juozas Kaziukenas has suggested an alternative to the usual "how to set up a web server" tutorials and methods for developer environment. He suggests that maybe virtual machine images are the way to go.
There are millions of articles on how to setup LAMP setup on your own machine to allow developing websites locally. I think this is a wrong approach as running server programs in one's computer creates a lot of potential problems. Better approach for this would be to use Virtual Machines as they allow bigger flexibility and fewer headaches when something goes wrong.
He talks about a few of the advantages to the approach and some of the performance gains you'd get from having your environment local like that. He points to VirtualBox as a good potential solution and some tips on working with the local server as if it was remote.