everyone has a shangri-la to find
I suspect it's for testing purposes - I remember hearing in a Xen talk that the ability to emulate multiple CPUs meant that they could test the Linux kernel under those situations without having to build an expensive machine - and I believe they discovered a lot of race conditions when they did. :)
VMWare isn't actually able to emulate more than CPUs than you have in the machine that the VM is running on. This is because VMWare isn't an emulator. I think you're getting confused with something else there.And this feature is just so that you can run two VMs, each set to one CPU, on a dual CPU machine, and hopefully have better performance.
Hmm, I'm not sure you're correct. My Windows XP guest has two CPUs assigned to it, and it appears* to perform better with two rather than one.
I meant that the feature to drop down to one CPU is just so that you can test single CPU code. Obviously if you have more than one CPU and assign more than one to VMWare it's going to run better ;)