After setting up a fresh 2k8r2 VM I did a round of updates like a good little admin and then got stuck at this:
Stage 3 of 3. Preparing to configure Windows
Why? Well it turns out this is a known bug and there may be a fix available through Microsoft but you can get past the stuck screen simply by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE
Thanks to http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000640.htm for this information.