Thanks! We took a little bit of a hit selling our previous home but are hoping the deal we got on this one will end up for the better in a few years when things begin to stablilize in the market.
I hear ya on the one project at a time thing. We were fortunate enough to get this house built with a fully finished basment, which was an incentive the builder was offering at the time to push homes out the door. It's a little bit of a struggle mapping out the future theater, bar, and game room inside a finished product, but I'm seeing it as a challenge that I think I can work with. In the long run, it should cost far less to modify the room rather than build it from scratch, so we'll see.
I'm guessing the hillbilly neighbor is on the other side of that wall over evergreens
(been there and done that in the past, so I get it).
I'm thinking of contracting out the paver work as well. I think it's something I could probably do on my own, but I also know that you need a really solid level base to work off of, so I don't want to run the risk of having things move on me down the road if I did it myself.
You can definately do a LAN setup for far less than that setup you showed. Do you like the look? It's a little too office/conference room looking for me. If you installed your desktops and router on the backside of a wall (not sure if you have access to an unfinished area or what you're thinking), you could just put a wall plate in that had 4-6 ports for ethernet. That would be a very clean look and would also eliminate the clutter and noise (not to mention the heat) of all of those computers. I've considered doing something similar here, but we have a distributed network installed already that allows me to plug right in in several rooms. I used to be a big PC gamer but haven't stayed up to speed on hardware over the past few years, so we now have a PS3 and a couple of XBox 360s that do the trick.
What kind of games are you into? I play a lot of FPS type games and have considered building a gaming rig just for the new Battlefield 3 game coming out in October.