Andy has a detailed description of the process he went through in selecting components for his new built-from-scratch MCE PC:
I evangelize MCE to pretty much anyone who will listen. Once they’re sold on the concept most ask how much it costs, I tell them that the cost of an entry level system is pretty minimal $300-$500 but the sky is the limit depending on what you want to put in it. Here’s my system and the reasoning behind it. In most cases the link goes to the manufacture’s page, but in some cases (OEM or I couldn’t find it on their site) I link to where you can buy it.
I could quibble over a few bits (for example, I would recommend the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE, which is identical to the 150 but has two tuners on board, with a daughterboard that adds S-Video and component connections for the second tuner). Still, excellent advice. I’ll be building a new Media Center PC early next year and this will really help.