So this is the lineup. Everything but the case and PSU is 2/3 yrs old.
Gigabyte ATX mobo
Corsair 450W PSU
AMD Phenom ii x4
4 GB DDR3 1600
Logitech G700 mouse
Logitech wireless kb w/ touchpad
I didn't know anything about Linux but was surprised it's almost plug and play, with a ready-to-go UI, very fast install and very easy to setup drivers and everything else. Of course hardware compatibility is a potential issue but the only snag I'm hitting is my USB network adapter, which I will need to manually configure the drivers.
Overall an HTPC is an awesome upgrade to the entertainment center. Actually already had a smart TV which is great for netflix, but the HTPC will add a lot more. One nice thing is being able to access Twitch with an already integrated comp rather than having to hook up a laptop.
tl;dr HTPCs are a cool toy.
plz ignore purple splotches on pics