So Chad, I made the effort to download and install the exchange beta but are there any good guides on the actual installation? Anything you’ve personally ran into?

in short – yes and yes.

Exch 2010 install guide 🙂

AND a nice FAQ , tips & tricks list too. I concur with some of the items he points out – like the supported WS2K8 version. I couldn’t install exch 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2 RC.

Tips & tricks for exch 2010