HTPC- build or buy?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Month
BUDGET RANGE: max $400 US

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Hulu, internet, Boxee/XBMC, Blu-ray/DVD playback
No gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: wireless keyboard, no audio card (using HDMI to TV), operating system, No TV tuner- I have a TIVO.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: I live in US

PARTS PREFERENCES: none

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (1080p 46" LCD TV via HDMI)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I can install XP or 7. I've built machines before, but there seems to be too many options available. I like the idea of a low power mini-ITX machine, but worry about the video playback via HDMI.

I like 2 examples that lifehacker.com mentioned. The 1st is a nettop system- Acer AspireRevo http://lifehacker.com/5391308/build-a-silent-standalone-xbmc-media-center-on-the-cheap. I like this but I've seen issues with Flash (Hulu) and the graphics. Some people have been able to overcome it with the beta drivers.

The 2nd example is the ASRock Ion 330 http://lifehacker.com/5406563/build-a-cheap-but-powerful-boxee-media-center. Again there might be playback issues. What do you think?

A different option that AMD recommends is this build http://blogs.amd.com/home/2009/08/19/building-an-htpc-on-a-budget-part-1/ using the Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H motherboard and onboard graphics. What do you think? Low noise also appeals to me.
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  1. Atom X2 per sec has no problems with HD playback, but the Intel GMA IGP does. Ion is ok. None of your listed builds play BDs. $400 is somewhat stretching it for a BD HTPC build. It can be done.

    --
    quantity of item 1


    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152181
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



    $54.99

    select item 2 quantity of item 2


    MSI 785GM-E51 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

    MSI 785GM-E51 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813130247
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

    Protect Your Investment (expand for options13-130-247|hide options13-130-247)

    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan

    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info13-130-247.0.18)

    * 1 year: $9.99
    * 2 year: $16.99



    $79.99

    select item 3 quantity of item 3


    BFG Tech BFGE450WPSU 450W ATX 12V v2.2 Power Supply

    BFG Tech BFGE450WPSU 450W ATX 12V v2.2 Power Supply - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817702019
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



    $39.99

    select item 4 quantity of item 4


    OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK

    OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820227346
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

    -$14.00 Instant


    $89.99
    $75.99

    select item 5 quantity of item 5


    AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor Model SDX140HBGQBOX

    AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor Model SDX140HBGQBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103698
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy



    $35.99

    select item 6 quantity of item 6


    LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner

    LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
    Item #: N82E16827136162
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



    $99.99

    Subtotal: $386.94
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    You need an ATX or mATX case:

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=7&name=Computer-Cases

    After shipping & tax, it'll be over budget. However, newegg discontinued a $65 LITEON BD/DVD reader. If you don't burn any disks, swap the LG one out for the LITEON. It's available elsewhere.

    http://www.amazon.com/LiteOn-4X-BD-ROM-SATA-BULK/dp/B002U4XX3A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1262791344&sr=8-2
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10011267&prodlist=celebros
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