I don't mean to suggest you rush out to buy one of these; it's more a reality check snapshot on PC prices. There were several desktops in ads in today's Boston Globe in the $350 range for 512 meg RAM, 120 gig hard disk, DVD/CD-RW (not DVD-W, however), Vista Home Basic, etc. No monitor for this one, but I saw one print ad for a $350 option with a 17" CRT.
Let's see -- a new (non-upgrade) license for Windows Vista Home Basic is SRP $199.95 ($191.99 at Amazon.com at the moment), and the Works Suite 2006 is SRP $99 (available at a 9% discount at Amazon.com), so that means the PC part of the deal is hovering around $50...
The eMachines T3604 desktop provides essential features for your everyday computing -- all at an exceptional value that won't break your budget. Designed with the reliability of Intel® processing and loaded with Windows Vista™ Home Basic the T3604 delivers an easier, safer and more efficient computing experience. Create documents, spreadsheets and manage home finances with preinstalled
Microsoft Works® and Money 2006 software.
Play DVD movies and burn CDs with your favorite MP3s, digital photos and files with the CD-RW/DVD combo optical drive. With the T3604 desktop you can easily upgrade graphics capabilities to meet your future demands with an available PCI-Express x16 slot. Safeguard your privacy and personal information with a complimentary 3-month subscription of McAfee® Internet Security Suite™.