I followed this path and found a very significant problem with it. As probably most other geeks out there, I put the computer together and put Linux on it. And then I discovered that Linux doesn't have Netflix and Vudu. And this is not likely to change in near future, due to Microsoft DRM technologies used in those. For a HTPC, it's a very significant downsize. So now I'm faced with a choice of putting Windows on it (ugh), or shelling out for a Mac Mini, which will be twice as expensive at half the firepower. In retrospect, I should've just gotten a Boxee Box with an external hard drive.