Got this today on my windows 2008 VPC (which is also a domain controller) - "The referenced component 'Microsoft.SharePoint' could not be found." - basically I couldn't add a referance to sharepoint in visual studio (2008).
After I got over the heart attack, A friend (Mundeep!) suggested I start visual studio as administrator. I protested that I was logged in as administrator, but he reminded me that I am working on windows 2008 which, like vista, has user account control, and by default prevents me from doing many things on the client.
Running VS2008 as administrator solved the issue. And now I am going to remove the user access control and be happy ever after.
If you are also planning to work on win2008 as a development machine, I recommend the "Windows Server 2008 as Workstation" article, to which I linked in the past.