I not too concerned about the cost for the system as I had already resigned myself to the fact that I will spend $2000 on the HP.
What I am most concerned about is whether the system will handle what I need it to do. I do a lot of multi-tasking and have at least 4-5 applications running at the same time.
This is the time to ask yourself, if it is more important for the system to be small and quiet, or have the power you need for your multi-tasking.
As small and quiet as that system is, for the $2,000 budget you have, you should consider getting a dual-CPU system. Having two processors help out TREMENDOUSLY when multi-tasking. $2,000 should be able to get you a very nice dual-CPU system.
If you want it small as well and can wait a little while, Iwill is coming out with the first SFF (small form factor) dual-CPU system.
Since you budget is $2,000, figure out where you want that cash to go in the system.
I.E. Faster CPUs, top of the line gaming card, massive amount of hard disk space, a large amount of memory, etc…
Also, does the budget include getting a new monitor?
Here are some TR reviews on dual systems:
http://techreport.com/reviews/2003q4/ap ... dex.x?pg=1
http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q2/du ... dex.x?pg=1
Here is a nice place to read reviews and price out workstations:
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content ... 32a&page=1
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content ... uel&page=1
http://www.gamepc.com/shop/systemcatego ... orkstation
Again, I mention all this dual CPU stuff because you specifically mention multi-tasking, and that is one place where SMP always excels. I hope this helps.