At least in VMWare Workstation 6.5 (and probably earlier versions, tho I'm not sure) running on Windows, you can easily access any of your host OS files from any Linux VM. You just need to enable Shared Folders (from VM->Settings, in the Options tab) and specify the folders you want to have accessible from Linux. Once you do this, you should see those folders under /mnt/hgfs in Linux. So it looks just like a regular filesystem from the Linux perspective.
Note: I verified this with CentOS 5.