Thanks for the input - a few points to make:

- The drives are the only planned upgrades in the near future that are definite: apart from a boot disk, I want bigger media drives, and from past experience, my DVD collection won't fit onto one 500 gig HD. I want to get at least a couple of 1 TB drives, which will require SATA, but at least with that route I will have enough storage space for most of my stuff.

- Have you tried watching Hulu or Youtube from a G4 lately? With MP4 playback, I had issues with playback until I finally upgraded the video card; unfortunately, that's now at its max. even with files native to the computer, it can hang up - for example, "The Dark knight", the digital copy i downloaded from Apple, plays back poorly on my machine. If that's not compelling enough for a processor upgrade, don't know what is.

- The USB/Firewire card I have has internal connecters, but they're the same as their outer connectors.

- If I get a media reader, it will be for camera and phone stuff, not for OS booting - good idea, though.

I'll probably play a little tomorrow with a pricing list for comparison - should have thought of that first. Like the idea for the internal hub - ow if I can find some big enough for my needs... smile