Here is my HTPC build, decided this route based on Kuky's post. My build looks very similar, but with slightly different components and the need for a Cable Card installation. Tuner is external and sits on top of the HTPC chassis.
HDPLEX H3.SODD Fanless HTPC Case ($324)
w/ 80W open-frame Pwr Supply & IR MCE remote
ASRock H67M-ITX LGA 1155 Intel Mini ITX Intel Motherboard ($87)
Intel Core i3 2120T 2x 2.60GHz Processor ($147)
Hauppage WinTV DCR-2650 CableCard External Tuner ($128)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB RAM F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL ($42)
Sony Optiarc 12.7MM Slot Blu-ray Combo SATA BC5650H-01 ($135)
Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M101MBB 1TB 5400 RPM 2.5" SATA ($110)
Microsoft Win7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM ($97)
A bit pricey but this works better than the cable company's DVR and cable card is free on my system. Also, Internet TV is better supported.
With a fanless chassis using heatpipes to cool the CPU and the only mechanical devices being a low-RPM SATA and the Blu-ray drive (when watching DVD/Blu-ray movies), the unit is essentially noiseless. The SATA drive is isolated from the chassis with rubber grommets.
Just a few comments about the components:
1. No problems with heat. The heatpipe keeps the CPU at 100-degrees F or less watching/recording TV
2. For totally quiet, you could go SSD, but expensive to have room for HD recorded content. Low RPM SATA is fine.
3. ASRock's Fast boot feature allows quick boot when you turn on the unit via the MCE remote.
4. I bought the MCE remote kit for the HDPLEX, but really only use the MCE remote, as it works with the Hauppage's built-in IR. Just buy an MCE remote.
5. Power switch on the HDPLEX is a little wobbly and needs a small adhesive shim to tighten it up.
6. Will need to get Blu-ray software (e. g., PowerDVD) since MS Win7 does not support Blu-ray natively.
7. Can add TV Extender software for Hauppage to allow remote use of the system via iPad or iPhone for $10!
As for the assembly:
1. HDPLEX instructions are fairly good, just a little confusion due to the printed and on-line versions being a bit different. My advice is to use the online version.
2. Installing the 3-PIN cable into the power supply is very difficult, I needed to shave the outside of the connector a bit to let it fit into the tight quarters.
3. The faceplate was already installed on the chassis, so although it was still possible to assemble everything, the optical disc drive (ODD) rack should be installed last for easier assembly.
4. I have not needed the drive eject button driver, since Win7 has an eject button in Media Center. But it is there if you need a manual button.