Ardour on winbloze + VmWarePlayer
I installed an Ardour system in a VmWarePlayer to test it out without having to set up my XP machine for dual boot or nix the XP install I've got. It is my home office machine and I cannot repurpose it at this point. I also have a G4-800 which has plenty of audio SW that use and I don't want to ditch it.
I am planning to purchase a dedicated Ardour machine for the studio though as the central mixing engine and HD recorder. It just makes too much sense.
Just having the tremendous routing capability in Jack is enough reason to set up a dedicated box (or more) for me! Not to mention Ardour and the other tools that are available.
Just google around a little and you can figure out how to get FC-x (or whatever you like) installed onto a VMWareplayer image. Then go through the CCRMA setup for that distro.
If you want to try it out before buying a dedicated machine + HW or repurposing a current machine it is well worth it.
There is of course a CPU hit because you are running Win + Linux/VmWarePlayer.
Using the VmWarePlayer is not really ideal for a 'Production-Grade' machine but you can easily go through several setups like this and learn a lot on the way so that when you decide to either re-purpose a current win box to linux or purchase a new box for that component in your studio you will have some of the setup experience under your belt.
You can also use your virtual machine to test and create your own intermediary RPM builds without involving your installed production machine if that makes sense to you.
I highly recommend learning to build various items/apps from different branches of the source so that you can have the ability to upgrade/downgrade your setup based on your functionality needs, the ability to bypass bugs before an official release, and more helpful bug identification and tracking for the Ardour project in general. Not to mention the linux-audio community as a whole.
If you have a windows (or mac) box for audio, I would plan on keeping that and getting a dedicated linux for Ardour. If you have a Mac I would also use Jack/Ardour on that machine plus the other tools you already use there. In any case I don't think the solution is to port Ardour to win, rather just buy another box. If you already are using a Mac, you are lucky that Apple moved to OSX.