I've used XAMPP before and liked it a lot - back when SitePoint's BYO book recommended installing AMP seperately. I had so much trouble setting things up I got frustrated and installed the bundle instead. Easy-peasy.
Ironically, I now have AMPP installed seperately and the current edition now recommends installing a bundle. :lol:
The thing you might want to take care with is that your versions and configs match the live server as closely as possible. It will save you a lot of checking for deprecateds and the like when something works for you local but errors live.