Rule #1 - Be Patient - Rule #2 - Don't ask when, if you don't contribute - Rule #3 - You have coding skills - LinuxMCE's small brother is available: http://www.agocontrol.com
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I for one would be happy to shop at a store that has done the hard work for me. That is, finding compatible hardware and putting it altogether in one place. I also don't mind paying more for that service. I am as much a geek as anybody, but I find I often get frustrated combing through forums and scouring the net trying to find parts that work well together. Many times I am disappointed with the results. Being able to buy hardware that I'm reasonably certain will play nicely together is worth more than the 5-10% or so I might save buying it somewhere else.