For starters, I currently work in IT and use to build my own boxes all the time. I haven't done one in awhile (>7 years) and it seems that the price advantages have narrowed a lot between building a decent barebones kit, and buying an OEM with Windows and a monitor included.
I want to build a new desktop, and it will mostly be for home/office use with the heaviest use being video encoding/streaming to my Xbox and some multimedia stuff. I probably won't game much on it, and if I do, I would just add a decent dedicated card at that point.
I found this deal at Costco on a Core i7 box w/ 8GB 1333 memory for $750, and it includes a 23" LED, Windows home premium, and a Wireless N card. The 1TB hard drive is even 7200rpm.
Looking at barebone kits, I can't seem to get close to that with an i7 build..only an i5 build, and even then adding Windows ($100) and a decent screen is as expensive.
The only sketchy part is it claims it's only a 300W PSU (not even sure how thats possible with an i7..) but they also have the exact same model with a 2GB Radeon 7570 and 16GB RAM so it apparently has enough power for a good dedicated GPU.
What do you guys think? If you could find me a better deal custom building..I'm all for it.