Home network server- web, storage, backup, media

Hello to the guru's in internet land,

After several recent drive failures, headaches, and a surplus of funds for a new system, I'm looking at building a nice server for myself.
The uses I'll need it to fill will be primarily a storage/backup server in RAID 6 (8x 2Tb drives). I'll also use it to run a couple websites, a TS3 server and hopefully some form of a backup system for all the systems of our house. Being able to stream media and remote access from outside my network would also be a substantial plus.

After some research and general looking around, I guess my questions come down to:

What would be the ideal OS to use? (FreeNas, Ubuntu, Win Server... , something else?)

Would using this card http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815121009 (8 port Sata II card, no raid) and software Raid 6 be appropriate?

Under previous question, what sort of processor and Ram quantity should I aim for? (16 gb min?) Would a simple I3 based system work?

Would there be a benefit to running virtual machines in this situation? And is that even possible under Linux based Os's (sorry not too familiar with them)

Obviously as a server it'll be headless once setup and running. Hoping this will fulfill my needs and be a good learning project as well. I'm planning to upgrade in the future up to 24 drives, but would also prefer to stay away from Pro-grade hardware if I can. Also, Probably a dual Gb Nic. Not against spending the bucks were needed, but would rather keep it low if I can.

Have at her
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More about home network server storage backup media
  1. A lil bump.
    Looking for any insight whatsoever. If you've got an idea, please bring it up.
    Sorry for the long post.
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