Barebones kits are a good option. I bought a barebones socket 754 kit from http://www.geeks.com/
and put it together, installed W2K Pro and it booted right up. The only thing to be aware of is that kits often consist of really cheap components. I was not impressed with the case, power supply and speakers. It came with a motherboard CPU combo (Biostar, good basic AMD) CD/DVD combo drive. I had to provide a hard drive, floppy drive and RAM. I made do with the case, but I got a quality power supply and already had good speakers. This was to replace my old HP PIII 450 Mhz and the final results, even with the cheap case it that it is a great system, AMD socket 754 2.0 Ghz Next time I will buy components of my choice and put it together myself. It is not hard, either way. Here is a good guide that will provide some insight. http://www.mechbgon.com/
There are many others out there. Do some searches. You can find lots of bare bones systems on Ebay.
Edited by austin_o, 18 July 2006 - 06:23 AM.