This was my first build, and, to give you some idea of my requirements, my last computer was an unmodified Gateway SX2800. It could still more or less keep up with my usage patterns, too, since I generally don't have much going on other than Word, a media player, a download or two, and maybe a dozen Firefox tabs.
Unfortunately, as my trusty Gateway neared its seventh birthday, it started making some worrisome rattling noises. The hard drive was getting full, as well, even though I transfer most stuff to external storage.
My new computer didn’t need to be especially fast, then, but I wanted it to be quiet and budget-friendly with a much bigger hard drive. Quality/reliability was important, too. To that end, I looked at parts' ratings on here, Amazon, and NewEgg, and picked nothing scoring less than a four out of five.
Now here's the fun part: I made the admittedly iffy decision to order an AMD A6-5400 dual-core processor (TDP: 65 watts). I was sent an AMD FX-8370 eight-core processor (TDP: 125 watts). That seemed way too powerful (and power-hungry), so, with eBay's help, I traded down to a Pentium G4400 (TDP: 54 watts) – and $62.74 more than I started with. The prices I've listed are technically accurate, then (counting rebates and combo deals), but the true cost of this build was just $317.71!
Some additional thoughts on the shipping mix-up: The FTC says, "Finders, keepers." Also, as things stand, the company might not realize their inventory's off for weeks or months, never mind figure out who goofed. If I report the error, some poor warehouse drone will almost definitely be punished.
UPDATE, 11/21/16: Ugh. Just got a price alert on the Deepcool Gammax 300 CPU cooler. This computer's quiet, but for a shot at better cooling performance (not that I need it) and even less noise, I think I'm going to pull the trigger.
UPDATE, 11/26/2016: CPU cooler's in. It's definitely quieter than the stock one. Temperatures seem about the same, but I won't pretend to have monitored them closely before and I'm not sure they could get much lower, anyway. (The CPU package is currently idling at 27° C in a coolish room.) The computer's true cost is now $327.70.