This one's made the rounds before, but I am including it here as an example of how the old days aren't always the good old days. Note that this includes the CPU and keyboard only. This looks pricey even for the time.. I got complete cutting-edge systems in '83 and '88 that were less than half of this. What makes this system so good, allegedly? The VGA graphics? (Which were a big leap up from 16-color EGA, but still.)
For comparison, here's a complete 2008 system, WITH mouse, for $179. Of course, all the specs are hundreds to thousands of times more advanced, even in this basic setup.
The lower cost aspect is the up side to the appliance-ization of personal computers. Because everyone essentially "needs" to have one, they have lost their mystique... yet the demand has made them affordable as well as ubiquitous.