When I installed xampp I was up and running without needing any special docs etc! with vertrigo I got presented with a black screen telling me server was started! No hint what to do next.
At the end of the day, as long as it works it's ok for me. I have smf RC2 and Coppermine 1.5.1 Alpha installed, there were no problems or install errors. I will install PMX updates when they become available.