Comparing to MOSS 2007, now Microsoft is more thoughtful to developers: we can install SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7 as development environment easily. Should we do that? Definitely NOT!!!
The main issue is about "User Profiles" synchronization. Why do we need that? Do we just need basic functionalities of the server side object model in most of cases?
I agree that in 90% of cases, we might not need "User Profiles" test data. However, we need the development environment to suit all our needs, not just 90%. Please think about this: are you sure that you don't need to do any "User Profiles" relevant development in the next one or two years? Is it possible that you need to get a user's full name to be displayed in an InfoPath form someday?
For the same reason, we also need to join our development environment to a domain. If the SharePoint server is in a workgroup, then "User Profiles" importing is also not available.
By the way, the "server level" services are also not available if we install SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7, such as "Project Server 2010".
So, as a SharePoint developer, please install Windows server 2008 on your laptop. :-)
Any thoughts? Please leave comments.