What's the best HTPC under $3,000?

We had a lively Ask Engadget HD this week, so figured we'd point our dear readers in the direction of Engadget Classic for another HD-related inquiry. This week's question is about HTPCs, particularly ones that won't absolutely shatter the bank. We know you've got some creative thoughts as to how to get a robust system without blowing north of three large, so head on over and chime in, won't you?