Why not trust the OS on an SSD? If you get one with a proven track record (read: not Sandforce-based), I don't see the problem. For example, you could spring for an Indilix-based SSD, those are pretty cheap nowadays and reliable enough.
Indilix-based SSD? The only Indilix SSD I can think of is the new
OCZ Octane. Based on SSD track records from the first three generations, I would rather get a 3rd-Gen Sandforce SSD that has had a year to get firmware fixed than a new drive. I also have to bring up the point that EVERY SSD controller has had reliability issues in 2011 (including Intel and Marvell) not just Sandforce drives. Most of those issues have been resolved however, with the exception of the Crucial m4 bug thats supposed to be fixed next week) I still agree with Firestarter that there is no reason to be afraid of installing the OS on an SSD.
I disagree about the quad-core, though - I would go with i3-21xx
Suit yourself, computer technology is an exponential growth market. ~5 years ago we were just transitioning from single to dual core CPU's. 2 years before that there was no such thing as a consumer-level dual core CPU. (the Athlon 64 X2 anybody?) Today I feel like we're already in the quad core realm, even if it means 4 virtual cores. I will recognize that hyperthreading on the i3 CPU's gives them 4 virtual cores, but virtual cores do not equal physical cores in terms of performance. Especially when those 4 physical cores (Intel i5) are actually 8 virtual cores. I would peg an i3-21xx at a ~3 year life expectancy unless its for light use (word processing, internet)
Yogi, have a look at my thread
on 120GB price history. SSD prices have continued to drop since those posts, the Vertex 3 120GB is currently on sale at newegg for $150 after MIR. I also dont see why you cant just copy your Dad's data to an external (or internal) HDD from time to time. No need for backup software IMO. Also, you can move the My Documents, My Music, My Pictures etc shortcut folders to an internal hdd and he would never know the difference. ie. the start menu and windows explorer sidebar shortcuts to those folders would open the folder which is being stored on the hdd. Its quite simple actually. Thats what I did with my parents, they hate change, and the new system looks exactly the same to them as the old one.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod