So, at first glance it looked easy enough to install VMWare on the x440. Download the ESX server, burn to CD, and install.
Okay, as it turns out, only certain versions of ESX will run on a 440. The latest and greatest is not one of them. Turn out that you need ESXi 3.5 Update 2. I learned that here. With VMWare now installed. (Note to self, you need more than 10GB of free drive space to make an effective virtual server solution.)
For some reason creating a new virtual machine didn't get very far, as the CD drive refused to recognize that a CD was loaded. (Remember, we loaded VMWare using the same CD drive.)
Attempting to migrate an existing virtual image onto the box didn't get us any further. I'm now looking into OVF file and how to make one...