Thanks for the response, BW.
From reading these responses, it sounds to me as if my core should be a dedicated machine that I build for that purpose- so I don't sit down at that one to check my mail, I sit down at the core to set things up in MCE etc etc.
For my desktop computing, I should use a media director, but one that is decently spec'd so it can run all the "office type" apps and things I want to do. The only difference between it and a normal desktop linux machine (my current setup) will be that it will pxe boot and use the HDD attached to the core (although it could use its own as well?)
Here're my thoughts, if someone cares to comment, I'd appreciate it:
My current machine (FC13 installation) is a Dell dual core pentium with about 300Gb HDD and a video card and 2x NICs that seem to be compatible with LinuxMCE (from my first installation attempts).
I was planning to turn this into the core/hybrid and then build media directors as required as I expand my MCE empire. But then I was imagining using the core to do my computing tasks - check mail, balance my finances, plan world domination etc.
Now I'm thinking I should build a dedicated core machine that runs the whole time, has all the supported h/w and is used primarily for setting up and administering MCE. Then just plug in my Dell desktop and let the DCErouter set it up as a media director (pxe boot). Then I can use it's reasonable resources to do my desktop computing as normal and also use it to show / drive media if necessary but if I'm doing desktop stuff it won't be hampered by the core resource load which will be handled by DCErouter.
I guess I could even leave the FC13 installation on there if I wanted with a dual boot option and/or access the storage on the hard drive either from FC13 when I boot to that or make the same storage available to the MCEnetwork?
Feel free to comment/ advise/ criticise.