I am a graduate student in the humanities at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. I have two primary myth-based machines running. As I am on a limited budget, I built them out of spare parts.
Primary Backend/Secondary Frontend:
* P4 1.8 / 512mb * 60gb + 160gb hard drives * PVR-150 * PVR-500 * Lite-on DVD/RW drive * nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 w/ s-video out * Onboard LAN
Notes: this machine is running FC6, and works pretty fine. It runs XFCE as the desktop, which I sometimes use with freenx. Since installing it, I have discovered the joys of Ubuntu, and I may switch it to Ubuntu Feisty (7.04) and mythtv 0.21 whenever they come out. This machine also has a custom-built IR receiver that works with a All-For-One URC 1810, a sweet remote.
I have it all connected to my Onkyo receiver and Onkyo 5-disc DVD changer, piped through my modest 5.1 system. It is pretty ok.
The bulk of this machine was purchased at auction for $40, including a 19" CRT that I sold for $10. I added the 160gb hard drive for $50; the DVD drive for $29; and the tuners cost me a total of $140. The remote was $20, and the IR box was $2, from my friend Doug. I pulled the GF4 from my desktop and replaced the graphics card in that machine.
Primary Frontend: Dell Optiplex GX110
* P3 800 / 192 mb * 4gb + 30gb hard drives * nVidia GeForce 2 with composite out * DVD-R drive * Generic g Wireless NIC
Notes: also running FC6; I had bad luck with Ubuntu 6.10 (edgy) on this machine. It runs fluxbox as the windowmanger. I had to do some tweaking to get the GF2 TV-out working. I had to buy a GF2 because I needed a PCI card with composite out. This machine uses the grey hauppage remote that came with the PVR-150 I have in the other machine, and another custom IR receiver. The network card was a bit of a trial to set up, but I documented it on my DVR wiki (http://www.virtualepor.com/wiki/).
This machine was purchased at auction for $20. I had to trash the 17" CRT that came with it. I pulled a 2.5" hard drive from my old laptop for use in this machine, which only needs extra storage (beyond 4gb) to hold videos and music. The 2.5 to 3.5 converter was $10. The video card was $30. The DVD drive was pulled from another machine I got at auction for my girlfriend. The original CPU was a P3 600 or so.
My friend Doug had an extra P3 lying around, so I stuck that in there. He also had an extra mobo and a total of 256mb of memory for that mobo. The memory refused to work with the Dell motherboard, and since that dell motherboard is in there, his standard ATX mobo won't fit in the case. I may try to get a real cheap box at the next auction, gut it, and switch this machine over to Doug's better (donated) hardware.