Yes, why MS did not issue Q312108 for Windows 95 is beyond me, and makes no sense whatsoever, because an updated file that corrected the problem was readily available.
NDIS.VXD v. 4.00.1113 contained in DUN14-95.EXE fixes the >2.1GHz (NDIS error) issue. One simply has to extract it from that update and add it to the updated files from the AMDK6UPD.EXE patch which fixes the >350MHz (IOS error) issue.
Main problem is that these files must be substituted in DOS, because you can't even get to Safe Mode to run the MS HotFixes.
Only reason I can figure that they left this undocumented was to "encourage" people to upgrade.
I agree that it is good to point out the possible use of VM's.
I can also concur that there are some reservations to take into account when using an older OS on a "prefab" or "brand name" computer because the manufacturers sometimes make modifications to the hardware that may make it not work with older systems. I encountered this on an XP DELL machine once, it had a motherboard with the Intel 845 chipset, and the "retail" version of the same board had Windows 98 drivers, but they refused to function properly on the DELL machine.
However, I think "better alternatives" is a matter of opinion. I could list several reasons to run Windows 9x on newer hardware, performance being the biggest advantage, but it's a matter of personal preference.
I have to disagree on the year 2000 as a cutoff for 9x. Remember, 98 and ME were supported, even by Microsoft, until 2006. Also, remember that Windows XP is only approximately 1.5 years newer than 98SE.
A better "measuring stick" in my opinion is specific hardware, i.e. you are basically ok on Intel 8xx chipsets, P4 processors, and AGP graphics cards, but anything beyond that becomes an "experiment" so to speak, as there are many uncertainties.
Obviously we all have a different outlook on this issue, and we're all entitled to our opinions. As I said before, my main gripe is when people's first response to a 9x question is "it can't be done" or "do this instead."
I'd like to invite you all to just take a look around the Windows 9x forum at MSFN. Not trying to convert anyone to another forum, just wanted to draw your attention to an active Windows 9x community and various information/solutions contained there, if you're interested.