a nice feature could be the backup verification on the original hardware.
In virtual environment you could easily power off the original vm and restore the backup to a new vm to test functionality.
After testing you power off/delete the restored vm and power on the original vm.
Since windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 you can boot from a vhd file.
It would be cool if you could mount the backup file or restore the backup file as an vhd and boot from it.