In fact, such a system, powerful enough to keep up with the ever-increasing demands that the web and applications will place on it over the next 4 or more years, very well configured, can be had for between $600 and $800 delivered including tax. You may pay a little more if you need a new monitor, too.
Oh yes, you can buy really cheap systems for $300 or so but they are compromised in power and longevity, and will make most users unhappy fairly quickly.
My last article mentioned that manufacturer coupons are a good way to get a fairly large discount on the price of a major maker's PCs -- 20 or 30% in some cases, and you should always search (google) for, say, Dell Desktop Discount Coupons, or HP, or Lenovo, or whatever.
But once you've done that, what are you looking for?
For the desktop system, as an all-purpose PC, you are looking for a mid or mini tower AMD Quad Processor System with at least 4 GB of RAM, preferably 8 GB, and at least a 320 GB Hard Disk.
AMD processors are good, and reliable, and drop as much as $500 from the cost of a comparable Intel Processor based system, and AMD CPUs are offered in valued-based systems that allow you to configure your machine without a lot of the expensive stuff you do not need.
Dell has a nice one, the 546, technically the Inspiron 546, which at the moment is being discounted with a Dell 20% coupon. Even better.
Take a look at Cheap Stingy Bargains for the coupon code, and a lot of other nice discounts as well, and the appropriate Dell web page for this offer.
Click on the Inspiron 546 offer and you will be taken to that Dell landing page.
From there you have a choice of 4 systems, including the 546. With the coupon I can configure a Quad Core system with a 500 GB drive, 4 GB memory, McAffee 15 mo Anti-Virus, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, and a 20" HD Monitor, 3 yr In Home Service Warranty, and at the moment, Free Delivery, for $804. You can configure what you want. Also included are all the standard items, such as a DVD/CD Burner, Keyboard, Mouse, etc. You still have to pay State Sales Tax.
It's a good deal.
You get a system that will last for a long time, and one that has enough CPU horsepower, memory, and a large enough disk, to be a pleasure to use for 4 or more years.
Similar discounts are available from:
Just search for "HP (or Dell, or whatever) desktop (or laptop) coupon."
You can get a great PC for a lot less than you might think, and you won't leave any money on the table.