Looks like every enterprise server product group at Microsoft is trying to provide self-paced, hands-on labs via the TechNet Virtual Lab. Now, the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Virtual Lab is finally available, and -- quoting from its home page -- "it will teach you how to set up the portal, organize content on the portal, manage user permissions, create Web Parts for custom tasks, and much more." So, check it out if you need an easy and quick way to evaluate the product!