I first started upgrading PC's way back in about 1991. I had a good job in college and was able to repair, tear apart expensive CAD machines, and build new ones from the leftovers. I really enjoyed it so I decided to build my own pc. I ordered everything online and built it in college back in 1998. Believe me, the internet was not the same back then and there wasn't a ton of information like this site. It had a P4 ( maybe 300 or 400 MHz ) maybe 512 MB of RDRAM, and an AGP ATI All in wonder card of some sort (I think that was the model), Some turtle beach 5.1 surround sound card, DVD writer (maybe 8x), and a 17' Viewsonic VSYNC CRT monitor. It was cutting edge at the time! Anyway, that cost me a ton of money at the time and after a stick of RDRAM died and I had to pay $200 or more for another, I decided not to blow that much money building a PC again. Though it was fun.
Now rarely build computers because I have used laptops for work for the past 15 years.