I began tinkering with computers in the early 80’s. From the late 80’s onward, I began to build my own systems, and today I do the same thing. I’ve used AMD but prefer Intel. I’ve built multiple water-cooled systems, replaced components in servers, and know how to properly and safely overclock with the right cooling.
I generally upgrade my computer every 2 years, building a new one from scratch with the near latest technology (I found it’s more cost effective to go 80-90% on the equipment, saves 50% of the cost).
I generally reinstall my OS every 6 months, but with Windows 7 perhaps that’ll change. We’ll see.
Solid State Drive is the way to go for a boot drive, but for storage, a good 1TB drive does just fine.
Video: eVGA nVidia
Hard Drive: Intel SSD (MLC)
Cable Modems: Motorola SB series
Servers (non-blade): Dell R series (2950 S3 work as well)