I have a problem with Guests not booting under VMWare ESXi 5.0 on my IBM x3550M3 server.
Note: Investigation eventually determined that problem was with the VMware client on a Lenovo Edge laptop, the only Windows box available in a Linux IT shop.
vSphere Client v4 and v5 duplicated behavior on the Lenovo Edge. As indicated in the comment to the accepted answer, replacing the workstation with one using different video was the "fix" for this particular issue.
The ESXi host boots just fine. The Client connects just fine. Guests can be configured but do not successfully boot. The initial guest memory consumption jumps up to 560MB and drops down to 40MB after a few seconds. Initial CPU usage is 1 full CPU (3000Ghz per the chart) and immediately drops downm to 29Mhz. Guests do not display any output in the Console tab but show a state of 'Powered On'. No errors in the Events tab. Switching Guest from BIOS to EFI makes no difference.
VMs are listed as Version 7 and the behavior is duplicated across all availabled Guest OS flavors. Problem also duplicated when server is booted up in Legacy Only mode.
Logs do not contain anything particularly suspicious.
Edit: No firewalls, routers, or VLANs in between the client and server.
Edit 2: We have tried to Boot Guest into BIOS screen at Next Boot checkbox in the Guest Setting. Was not successful.
Edit 3: 500GB datastore with 1 40GB VM on it. Plenty of space.
Edit 4: Guests copied from my old ESXi 4 server DO NOT boot on the ESXi 5 system. Initially it complains about too little Video RAM being configured for the default 2500x1600, but it still doesn't work properly even after I bump the Video RAM settings or switch it to Auto-Detect.