well, so far as obsolete models, it was that I can find refurbs under $100 for most of them, but if the 590 can be picked up that cheap i'll poke around for that.
I already keep xbox live gold for other things, so it doesn't cost extra. Generally the HTPCs are left on all the time, so no real boot up mode, a single click to a shortcut on the desktop takes me to netflix. Given the bitrate of netflix, is it really all that much better on standalones? I haven't seen that to be true on my samsung 2d blu ray player, or the xbox vs pc playing same film. i'll agree on the sound part though.
I'm going to hunt for 590 deals now