when it comes to setting up a htpc i'll be using the guides from avforums and assassins htpc blog:
the assassin's guides are highly regarded and very detailed when it comes to setup etc so its definitely worth the $25 donation
i've had a look into the 2 main types of software that people use for their htpc's (Win7 Media Center or XBMC). its hard to decide on which one to go with, both had their own advantages and disadvantages. to find out which one i prefer better i'm going to run both on my pc. it should be a good test bed to get familar with the software and see whats the better choice for me.
My PC aka. testbed specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4ghz
ATI Radeon HD 5670
Onboard 5.1 channel sound
AverMedia A188 DVB-T tv tuner
Im going to be testing Windows Media Centre + addins first since i currently use this to watch TV.