on the other side though, i went with one device.
its an older q6600 machine with 8gb ram. its my htpc, but i just moved it all to a bigger case to fit more drives. while sitting on the couch, yes i do nothing but watch movies on there.
i do use it for more than that, but for all those things, i remote into it with teamviewer using my laptop.
i may use it for encoding, but now that i am going to flexraid it, i am also going to start using it for daily backups for wife and my laptop, and also combine all our digital pictures to it and properly catalog them. yes, also backup to external every 2 or 3 months which stays in the bank safe deposit box (not the media, the other critical data).
note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.