I just bought one of these mini/box style PCs a friend on the WWWAC.ORG endorsed (Shuttle.com makes the box/motherboard and I found great reviews for it all over the net). A company called ABSPC.COM which has been around for over 10 years and gives free customer support for life customizes the Shuttle boxes and they picked up the phone on the first ring and their sales person was very smart. Took about 10 minutes to discuss and order the thing, and they said they will build it in under three days and ship it free by ground which will take less then three days. Amazing.
To think, I could have waited a month to spend another $1,000 for a Alienware or Voodoo which would have taken up all my deskspace space now I’ve got an expandable rocketship that fits in the corner of my desk!
For $1,900 I got a P4 3.2 threaded, 1gig Corsair ram, Sony DVD+/-R, 250 meg HD, Windose XP Pro and an ATI Radeon 9800 XT 256 meg (plus all the standard firewire, USB, etc. plus a universal card reader in the front of the unitnice for cards from digital cameras). Saved $100 not getting a
keyboard and mouse.
Hope this helps other people looking for an upgrade to rocket ship. TigerDirect also sells the Shuttle boxes in barebones fashion so you could prob. buy these same parts and put the thing together yourself and install a *legal* (not pirated) version of Windows XP Pro even less then I paidif you want to deal with all that.