"I know I am late but I just saw your goal of $7200 for a new computer in 2009. What computer you trying to buy? Bill Gates personal laptop???"
Not so much. ;) I budgeted that high for a high-performance gaming machine. Basically, I want to play games online, and to do so, I need a machine that can handle the graphic loads of today's offerings. The apple, so to speak, of my eye these days is HP's Blackbird 002. Shipping alone for the custom beast I have in mind would come close to $200. Before anyone looks at me strange, the machine I have right now is one I built myself back in 2001. It's had some updates, but it's ready to retire, and I'm ready for a new toy!
...BUT...my mind is changing. I've given some serious thought to buying a home in the next two to three years. $7,200 could sure come in handy with that fund. But I really need a new computer. Clearly there needs to be a compromise of some sort. I'm still working the numbers, but chances are pretty good that I won't be getting the super-duper monster machine. It's wicked awesome, however I think I want a home of my own more. So I see myself downgrading the new machine so I can jump-start my down payment fund.