Yeah, it can be expensive to buy a lot of this stuff brand new and to get your "dream" carputer, but it doesn't mean you have to drop the whole project. There are so many different, creative, and cheaper routes that can be taken. If you're a computer tech then you should have the know how and the ability to get something decent together. Just look through the forums and see what the people are doing. Try e-bay, surplus houses or (<---sorry, always wanted use that one) etc. You might have to make a few concessions, e.g. an inverter vs. an OPUS. Myself, I'm using an inverter ($30) until the time I can feel OK about dropping the cash for an OPUS. It's not the most convenient or elegant solution, but it works. In the meantime, I have (kinda, it's getting there) a carputer that works and I'm haviing fun with it.