he comparison assumes that you already have a server on hand. An accurate comparison would be if you were starting from scratch with nothing on hand.
Why would that be a more accurate comparison? He did have a server on hand. Many of us do. Many of our 'last desktops' are perfectly suited to be home servers. Mine is a Q6600 core 2 quad with 8GB of ram doing double duty as home server and htpc. I've got an E8400 core2duo with 8GB that I installed XenServer onto over the weekend just to fool around with. Lots of us have PCs to use as servers lying around.
Also, the comparison assumes you only need one IP address. With a VPS, you typically can get extra IP addresses for no additional charge.
I can't really see why anyone would need more than one IP address on it, especially since it's at home, and you have ready access to the console if there is an issue.
And lets not forget that servers need maintenance.
True enough. But lets not overstate the case either. I haven't done any hardware maintenance on either of my home servers in years. And running software updates from time to time is hardly a big commitment.
3 years ago I did have a server die, and it took around 6 hours and $100 in parts to resolve it.
Drives gotta get replaced probably at least once a year if you have any real kind of traffic on your site.
Say what now!?
That said the comparison was still pretty flawed. It didn't talk about what the bandwidth requirements were like at all. Maybe it fits comfortably into what he gets from his ISP particularly upstream, but I'm skeptical and it's something that should have been discussed.
And comparing the electrical usage as his sole cost center compared to effectively leasing hardware and service and concluding that raw electricity is cheaper is almost self evident to the point of not needing analysis.
Can I keep a server turned on for less money then it costs someone else to keep a server turned on while turning a profit, paying for advertising, replacing hardware, providing phone support, bandwidth, etc, etc, etc.
Gee I wonder.