Having a mainly Linux based environment, I would very much prefer to stick with Linux for the media as well. LinuxMCE sure seems like a strong contender, but I'm a little bit worried about if it will fit in my home.
Let's start with my situation. I have a somewhat largish home network, with two separate 24 Mbit ADSL connections, going through two separate firewalls (Smoothwall). This is to eliminate any single point of failure. Behind these firewalls are four web servers, a few download slaves and my mail server, VPN, a dial up (in case I'm out of reach of the internet but have a phone, I can be my own ISP) and some other minor servers for my private use. I also have a bunch of file servers (some 20-25 TB total), serving all my media and other data. On top of this, of course, is a bunch of workstations, which are more or less the only machines I actually sit in front of.
I currently run XBMC on XBoxes for my media, but I've outgrown it. My plan is to get six machines for media, one in each room I want to play media in, one server. Of course, these machines will be dedicated for the purpose.
I've also recently installeda new security system, so I thought I'd do something fun with the sensors for the old system, and LinuxMCE seems to give me a lot of possibilities there. Home automation may be in the plan for the next few years.
Now, I see two possible problems:
* My data is on file servers using Samba (historical reasons, I don't mess with a working server, even if it runs Windows). Will that be a problem?
* I understand that LinuxMCE prefers to be the router and DHCP server. Now, I've spent a lot of time setting up my system to be fault tolerant with no single point of failure. As it works now, if a connection goes down, all I have to do is switch a network cable from one patch panel port to another, and everything keeps working. The same goes if I want to rebalance the load between the lines. This is made possible through a whole lot of tweaking and fine tuning of routers/DHCP servers and network setup. Of course, I could setup a separate physical network for LinuxMCE, but that would be a lot of work and money. I recently upgraded all cables to cat6, and that was in the vicinity of $2000 (which is more than I plan to pay for the computers), and it would be as much to build a second network, as the media players are pretty much in the far corners of the house. I'm also unsure if a separate network would reach the files on my file servers without hassle, as I don't have space for a third network card in the servers (basically, they are full of disk controllers).
So, given these issues, is LinuxMCE for me, or should I look to some other solution, such as XBMC and lots of script hacking? As this is going to cost me some money and work, I'd at least like to know if I'm following the right path.