Since I'm normally using machines via remoter access, an emulator or virtual machine on a decent host is a very suitable solution for me.
However I don't think it is partically ideal for non IT people. It is certainly unlikely to attract new users who aren't very IT literate already.
I think the best way forward with emulation would an x86 system with an arm emulator at a very low level in the system, so that in effect RISC OS would be the only system.
(Apps would be ARM only, but presumably modules could be written in x86 to take advantage of the native hardware speed)