I'd do the virtual machine thing first, or stick it on an old computer you don't use much. You can then test it to see if it meets your needs. The Windows 8 interface is radically different, so it may not be your cup of tea. There's no point in putting it on a machine you really need until you know if you'll like it or not.
Many people I've talked to will be sticking with Windows 7 or will be moving to a Mac. So that should tell you a lot about Windows 8.