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Join Date: Feb 2005
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I agree that an HTPC offers a superior experience to Boxee, but I think that the typical Boxee customer, who wants a tiny, fairly quiet, all-in-one device is not going to want to put a large PC in the living room.... your estimate also failed to include the cost of a video card that can do proper 24fps (Intel currently can't), the cost of an OS (Windows is needed for quite a lot of things right now including HD audio streaming), etc.
My HTPC which has a small nearly silent case, an SSD, etc, cost me about $500 total and was worth every penny, however, it is harder to do things like Netflix, etc, from such a device (running XBMC) than it is from the Boxee Box.
The Boxee, as pathetic as it is, is currently the best in class out there.... which says a lot, about how bad things are for those of us who want to stream our own stuff.