Well first of all I'd like to point out, that I'm in semi-pissed mood right now, because Firefox crashed just before I was almost done with my pretty long post... So I will write a cruder and shorter version of it with...
From the article:
"This is the backdrop against which the project I am now writing about came to fruition. The idea is simple:
1. Take the best, most proven quiet computing concepts and techniques,
2. Apply them to the best quiet components available, and
3. Partner with a commercial system integrator who will build the system to my design, down to the last detail...
... for the benefit of those who wish to enjoy silent computing without building a PC for themselves. "
If silent computing evangelism was your first priority, these SPCR approved
models would be available to everyone, for free. What I'm saying is that the research was already done and you had recieved a small compensation for your work from ads.
I assembled a clone of the EPCN default 1459$ model1 in Finland's biggest e-tailers web page. They had all the same components available except with minor changes, such as picking p150 instead of solo, using asus graphics instead XFX and using 250gb hard drive, because they didn't have the 160gb drives. With the computer fully assembled and windows installed, the price was 1065 euros, which translated roughly to 1415$, with our price including 22% VAT (over 300$). Now this computer wouldn't be that much different to EPCN. Maybe the build quality wouldn't up to their standards. I wouldn't know, since I haven't seen what kind of cable management EPCN has. But cable clutter shouldn't be such a big issue with modular psu. The price would still be way more competitive then the EPCN model, which isn't even available to me. Maybe the computer wouldn't survive the shipping (ninja).
If they were able to stick "SPCR Approved" label to the computer for free, I'm sure they would include it in their pre-build computers. Especially after couple of requests from SPCR readers. They would do all the promotion for "SPCR approved" label. It's not like your name isn't already used with components. If a component recieves good reviews from you, it's usually mentioned. Also when P180B was only avaible as a SPCR edition, you were recieving free marketing and promotion from the e-tailers, but this is a different case (no pun intended), because you were directly compensated for the use of your brand.
EPCN 1459$ computer has a hard time competing to with a 999$ Dell, when both of them claim to be quiet. I wouldn't be suprised, if it were typed bigger in Dell's packaging... The regular consumer has really no way of knowing which one is more quiet. They would most likely pick out the one that is over 500$ cheaper. Dell isn't as big here in as it is there in the North-America. The 1065e replica, would be only 150 euros more expensive then a Dell (which isn't even sold by our biggest e-tailer).
1065 euros would also be a cheaper then some of the alternatives. My friend works for a small IT-company and he is in charge of all the computer purchases, building up the intranet and stuff like that. He recently ordered HP XW4400 workstations to their company. It basically has similar components (E6300, 1gig, 160gb), but it has Ati V3300 Fire GL graphics, which are priced ~175 euros. The HP is priced around ~1200 euros here. Now my friend also purchased one of those for himself and he claims that it is really quiet (although I'm sceptical about it and told him, I wouldn't believe him unless I saw it myself). Now the "free Model 1" could be a viable alternative to the HP, although the HP has some really important selling points, that have a much higher priority to companies then silence, such as 3 year on-site warranty...
Sure, giving up your name for free and the spread of SPCR brand through e-tailers might not be directly as lucrative business as selling your name to selected few. But it would give the model 1 (and other supposed SPCR approved models) a world wide availability. The e-tailers would directly promote the SPCR brand by marketing these products with your name attached to it. It could result in "SPCR approved" becoming a desktop standard similar to Centrino in laptops... which could indirectly increase your ad profits.
Atm there are no decently priced, readily available and truly silent PCs available here. If a friend asks what computer he should buy, I always recommend iMacs. Especially to my student friends, because of the Apples educations discounts, the 20" iMac is "only" 1400 euros, which is a bargain compared to alternatives.
(Sidenote luckily I started to write this with notepad, fooking firefox crashed again. I guess it doesn't like my kind of usage, around 100 pages open
P.S: I don't mind your current approach either. I think you deserve every dollar you get through your partnership with EPCN.
P.P.S: I just realized I forgot Acoustipack from my calculations. Installed, it would probably add roughly 100 euros to the 1065 euros.