I got ya. I think I'll sacrifice performance to save $500, that's for sure. It's just for my home, with 3 users max. I don't need crazy performance, just file browsing and streaming HD video from the drives. I plan on running the OS from a separate SSD too.
Windows 8 is the successor to Windows Home server now, and there are components that you can buy. I think with professional you get "storage pooling" for free anyway.
Thank you for your help though Twelve25
BTW, i posted the parts i'm thinking now, here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/386777-31-advice-file-server-htpc-hdds
it'd be awesome if you let me know what you think.