White box home computers – Am I alone?

I started really getting into computers, which eventually led me to IT (duh!), just as I was entering college back in 1995.  Not knowing any better, I bought a piece of crap AST computer, which was a Pentium 60, and 8MB of RAM.  It had no 3D accelerator, a 540MB hard drive, and was slow, despite it being one of the first Pentiums around.

I got into PC gaming, starting with Doom, and it grew to other games.  I also ended up finding a mom and pop computer shop locally in Richmond, VA, a trustworthy source for computer upgrades.  I ended up working for them eventually to pay for college.  I attempted to a few upgrades on the AST, before determining it was a piece of crap.  I learned how much better a white box could be, and that was that.  Short of laptops or mobile devices, that was it, I was a white box guy from then on.

I still, to this day, build my own computers.  There’s something about being able to research each part and buying the one that’s going to work best for you.  I know it takes time to do that, but the end result to me is better.  It’s great to know you can replace any part in it.  It’s great to build in the capability to upgrade.  It’s great to build in reliability.

But there are definite downsides.  It takes time to research all those parts.  It takes time to build it, install the operating system, etc.  It takes time to be your own tech support.  I notice other bloggers generally speak of various pre-built machines they bought.  I’m guessing that maybe why.

So my question to the community is do you still white box your own personal home computers?  Why or why not?