I'm not sure if this was stated before but you might also want to check ebay for Dell Optiplex 790. I was looking at possibly getting these as well for vmware since I heard they do support Vt-D if I wanted to play around with pass-through. They are rather cheap, saw a couple going for under 500 shipped. Only downfall to you might be they only support 16gb ram and most of them will be i5.

@everyone else

VCP could be a possibility really just depends on how much I like it. I wanted to learn just as Forsaken did because I am primarily a network guy wanting to know how it interacts with the network and design considerations.