tsk, tsk, tsk...
P4 this, athlon that, 512 mb vs 256 blah blah, 40 gig hd this, 80 gig that:o
if u really are on a budget (like i was) u can get a sturdy professional DCC rig for about $600. i dunno if ur machine will be like a home pc/workstation... but
i use :
Dual PIII 1.0ghz
1.5 gig ram (133 :thumbsdown
nVidia Quadro 4 750 xgl
40 gig hd (10k rpm) + 16 gig hd for OS
and the usual suspects, 19 inch monitor, floppy, 48x cdrom etc
running on RH linux 9
man , maya flies on this bad boy, apple shake (for linux)
crossover office so i can run Photoshop, AE.
now that is all i use this machine for, no music , dvds etc, so altho its a PIII, all the resources are kinda optimized for animation and compositing. so there is no need to upgrade or spend $1000 (in ur case 800+) for another machine that will probably run the same as what i have now.
so my suggestion, go to ebay, find a good dual PIII1.0 ghz then buy 1-2gig of ram and maybe more storage and save over $$$$400.