Use Virtualbox on Mint11 hosting WinXp as guest. Well, it was quite unexpected that this should work.
Yes, I still have to rely on WinXp for a couple of things, however, Linux Mint has become my Main OS. Goodbye to dual boot into WinXP.
What I did:
i) lsusb to check that scanner is "detected" in Linux Mint.
--> guess that is why it could "pass it" to Virtualbox.
ii) install Virtualbox 4 - am using the non OSE version from Oracle Virtualbox repo. Not sure if the OSE version works?
iii) install WinXp as guest in Virtualbox :( couldn't kill the beast yet. :) wait til I get a new scanner :).
iv) install the "Microtek ScanWizard 5"
Done! Enjoy scanning in Linux Mint virtualbox.