Ok In 1997 I bought a Tiny P133 (still works....has only ever been formatted ONCE most reliable pc in the house for its work it does) This cost me £1200. then I wanted something that would play DVDs and a bit faster. So. I built my own. a total cost of £587 in December 2000. It started life as a Duron 800Mhz but is now a 1.3Ghz Athlon Thunderbird> I shall Build the next one in December 2004. Using the good stuff from this pc Ie soundcard Hdds DVD rRW usb cards etc. All I need is a graphics card motherboard DDR Ram and the chip Oh and the Case so yes it will be cheaper.
And lets face it as soon as you want to open the case well I have the knowledge that I wont breach any gaurentees doing so. Plus I'm quite happy fixing it myself.