I have been evaluating different virtualization software recently and have been quite impressed with VirtualBox for desktop virtualization. The user interface is simple and easy to use, and the hardware video acceleration is a real plus. Recently, while installing Windows XP in VirtualBox I encountered a BAD_POOL_HEADER BSOD when booting from an XP installation CD created with nLite (just after "Starting Windows..." is displayed in the status bar). With some help from a thread on MSFN, I tracked the issue down to the Intel drivers that I had included on the CD. I was using version 220.127.116.114 of the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Floppy Configuration Utility (f6flpy), recreating the CD with version 18.104.22.1683 (from the archives) solved the problem. Note: The choice of IDE controller in the VirtualBox configuration does not appear to matter, both ICH6 and PIIX4 resulted in the BSOD.
The BAD_POOL_HEADER bugcheck has a value of 0x00000019 which means that pool header is corrupt. Generally, this is caused by faulty drivers or software. Are you sure that Windows XP does't have some bad tricks in it?
I have no doubt that both Windows XP and the Intel Matrix Storage Drivers have "bad tricks" in them.
However, I would contend that it is still a bug in VirtualBox that it is not bug-compatible with real hardware (since 22.214.171.1244 does not BSOD on any real hardware I have tried it on). But it is not serious enough for me to spend time getting to the root of the problem.