Nice post on putting together a PC on codinghorror.
I have always put together PCs from parts, since you can at least pick what parts go into it. And it used to be cheaper, but that argument isnt valid anymore. Once you’ve put one together, you start the endless upgrading cycle. Bigger harddrives, new videocard, and eventually a new motherboard + CPU and maybe a new powersupply that can power all your devices.
Downside of this is, while upgrading you end up with all these spare parts, enough to put together a new PC. So you use that as a home server. Ok fine, oh more parts: you end up with a Multimedia PC hooked up to the TV. So far that’s all functional, but you also get these pcs that are ‘meant for testing OS [insert an OS here]’ and get booted maybe once a month ;).
Why not sell those spare parts on Ebay then ? I have done that in the past, but these days, they are hardly worth anything anymore. You cant sell a 40/80Gb drive or an Nvidia FX5700 (for which you paid E150) for a reasonable amount, that makes it worth the packaging and all the hassle that goes along with it.
Did I mention I also got a stack of leftover old scsi server stuff ? 😉