MikeC's machine isn't anything close to what I'm talking about. The PSU is outside the case which pretty much makes it impractical.
Actually, it's kinda unsightly when you look at it but perfectly functional -- been that way for months now, never had any problems and the fan never
ramps up. It is quieter than Ralf's much handsomer and complete machine
(yes, I've visited him and had a good listen to his set up.)
Your suggestion is along the lines of what RH and I were discussing earlier today: A simplified primer on a quiet DIY system. I have mixed thoughts on this.
1) If you want a starting point, any number of the DIY systems already featured in the main site are perfectly good starting points. Most people need to experiment a bit to establish their "loudness level of comfort". As I already mentioned in the Disclaimer: Noise, subjectivity, standards, etc thread
started by Bluefront, PC noise is the end result of a system of components that work together.
IE, you can't just slap a bunch of recommended parts together and expect the lowest noise. The thing needs some "system analysis" -- tweaking and fine tuning with an understanding of both thermals and noise to get it to a really quiet level.
2) With so many components at similar performance/noise levels to choose from, there is an obvious risk than some components will be unfairly excluded in such a DIY primer, which means the piece can turn into a bit of a political nightmare.
3) The other hairy issue for SPCR recommended system configs is one the other sites don't have to worry about at all: So OK, maybe we can recommend low noise (30 dBA/1m or better), quiet (25 dBA/1m) or virtually silent (20 dBA/1m) configs.
But with what kind of system performance and at how high a system load??
To get 20 dBA/1m from a VIA C3 or EPIA system is a piece of cake. And 25 dBA/m from a P4-2.8 is a challenge, maybe expensive (relatively) especially at full load but still doable. But even 30 dBA might be really tough to reach with a Presscott 3.4, never mind the budget.
Anyway these are a few of the complications involved. We will try to sort through them in the most practical ways. I do agree that some DIY System suggestions would be useful to lots of silent newbies, especially in this world of rapidly expanding "silent" components.