Just finished my first build a few weeks ago and got the desire to build an HTPC, too. Was going to wait until I had some more $, but my DVD player died last night, so I'm going to go ahead and build an HTPC in two stages to split costs.
Stage 1 (basically an internet enabled DVD player): Case (PSU), Mobo & CPU, memory, already have hard drive for OS only and Optical drive
Stage 2: Larger hard drive (1TB+), tuner card, remote - what else?
Approximate Purchase Date: Stage 1 - this week, Stage 2 - a month or two
Budget Range: Around $400-$450 total - $200 now, $200+ later
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Watching BluRay DVDs on 52" 1080P TV, recording and playback of OTA HD channels, watching stuff on HULU/Netflix, streaming movies/music from NAS drive.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Used Newegg for last build, but not important.
Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Heard good things about the AMD E-350, but open to anything
SLI or Crossfire: Probably not
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: Needs to be quiet, run Windows Media Center. Not used for gaming at all. Just video recording/playback/streaming. Really interested on whether I should go ITX or mATX. What's going to give me the best bang for my buck?
Normally I would agree, but a lot of people's finished HTPC builds (who don't need video recording) are my first stage. Consider the second stage upgrading a base HTPC if it makes you feel better Do appreciate the advice. To get some thoughts flowing, this is what I'm considering for phase 1: