I had this conversation with a colleague who offers VMWare managed Windows VMs for his clients and he told me similar thing, but on the other hand, he was shocked of the prices of our hardware (approx. $6k per server) and was seriously considering migrating to the OpenStack.
A 2U or 4U server is $10k to $20k. You're going to fit all you can in the box, including a minimum of 512GB of memory.
It's not just about license costs though, it's about hardware costs and capacity management. You want to have as few servers as possible for a given capacity, it's easier to manage and cheaper. You must have VmWare to abstract the hardware, a bit like AWS. You work with virtual machines and it packs them on the hosts.
Last I bought it but that was a few years ago. VmWare was $5000 per node for the full package. There was a free edition limited to about 100 GB of memory, but without cluster management and live transfer of running VM (vMotion).