And the next thing: at a very specific level, mini-ITX motherboards and cases are The Way To Go. Tiny, cheap, fanless PCs with trailing-edge processors -- only 1GHz -- are nevertheless a really amazingly cool idea, especially when you start thinking in terms of turning them into personal video recorders (running things like FreeVo) or in-car GPS navigation systems. Or Beowulf clusters.
Although I currently am on the low end of disposable income, I’m keeping my eye on tiny cases, motherboards, and just-slightly-slower-than-insanity CPUs for projects just such as these. I want a PVR, a few file servers, maybe a homebrew game console. I also wouldn’t mind buying a pile of OpenBricks for general living-in-the-future purposes around the house, and to experiment with clustering and networking. Would also be neat to learn some hardware hacking again to build some clever devices like this CD changing robotshortname=minipcs