If I were to get an iMac, I would need Windows (presumably 7) for a few Windows-only applications. I have heard nothing but conflicting information as to whether I should use a virtual machine or Boot Camp. Currently, Win7 would be used for MS Office 2007 and some professional tax software that has NO Mac equivalent. So I am asking you for your experiences in determining whether to use VM Ware, Parallels, or Boot Camp to boot into Windows 7.
Thank you for your assistance.
You do not need Bootcamp. As derFunkenstein says, Bootcamp is only needed if you're going to play games or do stuff that needs direct access to the GPU.
For your needs, all you need is a virtual machine. The free Virtualbox isn't bad, but both VMware and Parallels are significantly faster and easier to use. Personally, I'd buy either of the two. They're not that expensive. Of course, value is in the eye of the beholder, so that's up to you.
But you certainly don't need Bootcamp.