+1 ...very tough if you need to buy the OS license.
Using Microcenter, and buying in-store, you can get hardware for a basic PC for just under $300. Do you have a Microcenter near you?
Nope. No microcenter near Charlotte. Is newegg the best online?
Would you go any further back than a II X2 for even a nongaming office build? I found an AM2 5200 chip on tigerdirect for $45...