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OP here. To answer your question about the upgrades, that was during my heavy gaming and musician phase. I changed video cards three times in those two years, and motherboards twice, just to support my gaming habit. I did make a little money back on all the old components though, so I didn't spend nearly as much money as most chronic upgraders of that era.
Not all were actually upgrades either. I did have a couple of components fail in those two years, and since I was having to buy new parts anyway, I chose to get the next better model. I was also upping my storage to make room for full .wav files of my music. You'd be surprised how many gigabytes you can eat up when recording acoustic instruments at 96KHz sample rates.
Oh, and for the record: It was XP Home Retail. As far as I know that allowed for unlimited upgrades, unlike the OEM version that is designed for one "complete" system. I didn't want to stoop to pirating XP Pro Corporate just to avoid activation, and I was done with my gaming fix, so I went Mac. I guess I should have clarified all that before but I didn't realize I'd have to defend my good word here.