My step-by-step installation is here.
Debian, Ubuntu 7.10 and LinuxMCE (64 bit 0710 RC2) / Kubuntu 7.10 user. Yeah, I also dual boot XP at tax time and so my kids can play some of their games. Oh, grow up.
I have a nested LAN configuration, to keep a business network separate from the LinuxMCE network. I am currently sorting out how to wirelessly netboot Media Directors, which isn't as easy as I had thought it would be. If you have a suggestion, please add it to the netboot page.
As a hybrid Core/Media Director I use a Walmart $299 W3644 Gateway/eMachine with 64 bit Sempron (at 2.1 GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 1600MHz system bus), 1Gb dual channel DDR RAM, nVidia GeForce 6100 series integrated video with 128 Mb shared video memory, 160 Gb HDD, DVD-CD RW, Targus wireless USB mouse. (Drawbacks: not enough PCI expansion slots). Greyfox wired analog cameras, Bluecherry video capture board. X10 automation with CM11A serial port controller. HTD MA-1235 12 channel whole house audio amplifier (set-up for nested 5.1 surround sound). ViewSonic Cine5000 Home Theater 720p Projector.
Summer project: Setting up an "outdoor home theater" for my kids and the rest of the neighborhood. Fine tuning how to change the outputs for the surround sound to be switched to my outdoor patio speakers, and to watch media on a big screen, from a projector (like a drive-in!)
1) HVAC and radiant heat using X10 thermostats.
2) Integrate motion detection with lights for security. Setup an automated phone call over VOIP to the police for home invasion, based on motion (and other) parameters.
3) The usual: Home Theater with VDR and follow me controls.
To try the new, inexpensive mini-PCs as Media Directors. Netbooting doesn't seem to be the problem, but inputs and outputs (graphics cards and surround sound) may be.
Soon: Netgear ReadyNAS with RAID 5.