If you'd like to try out some of these recent releases without a dedicated machine, there are virtual machines available for use with the developer tool previews. Each virtual machine is configured with the Visual Studio 2010 release candidate and hands on labs. The only difference between the virtual machines is the host software you need.
Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate image for Virtual PC 2007
Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate image for Windows 7 Virtual PC
Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate image for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
You can then install any of the other release candidates on top of the base image.
The software for these images will stop working at the end of June.