I haven't spent more than $500 on a pc in years.
There is just not that much more power for the money.
You can get all this for $439 from Dell.
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E7400 (2.8GHz, 3M, L2Cache, 1066FSB)
1 Year Basic Limited Warranty and 1 Year NBD On-Site Service
3GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHZ - 1x2GB 1x1GB
Dell 21.5 inch S2209W Full HD WidescreenFlat Panel Monitor
Single Drive: 16X (DVD+/-RW) Burner Drive
500GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Integrated Video, Intel® GMA X4500HD
Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio
Dell USB Keyboard
Dell Optical USB Mouse
Resource CD and DVD
Vostro 220 Mini-Tower
Why do you need more for an average user ?
"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe
the people with their own money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville