I will be demonstrating how to use VirtualBox to set up a local development environment on your workstation. You can use my prebuilt .ova file with CentOS 6, Drupal 7, Drush, Git, PHP 5.3 and MySQL.
Having tried, M/W/Xamp, Vagrant, and about a dozen others, this simple setup (which is very close to my production environment) has proven to be the most flexible and performant option.
Note that the installers are about 100 Mb and the VM about 600 Mb, so it will be really helpful if you download them before you get to UCI. It will be even more helpful if you can load some USB keys.