New Computer?

So, several years ago, I inherited a computer. It has served me well. I've replaced the hard drive and power supply, I've added a DVD burner, and upgraded the graphics so it runs 3 monitors! Hooray. However, lately, it's become a bit flakey and slow, and this morning the graphics card seems to have decided to head for the happy hunting ground. So I'm faced with a dilemna. I'm generally opposed to buying new computers. In fact, I never have. Up until a little over a year ago, I'd never actually purchased a computer at all. Since late 2006 we've purchased a refurb desktop, choosing the cheapest one, and a "scratch & dent" laptop. Previously I'd inherited them from people who were upgrading. Then upgraded parts as needed. It's worked well for me, and with Linux, has kept me quite happy with the performance at the same time. (I don't game so photo editing is the only thing I do that requires real power.) The time has come to look at replacing my primary machine though, and it's looking like I'm going to be shelling out some cash. As you can see from the charts in the sidebar, I'm trying to keep as much cash around as possible though.

My options, as I see them, are (from least expensive to most, short term):

  1. Just replace the dying graphics card This is also the least work required, as it won't involve much more than swapping a card and updating some drivers. However, this only fixes what's currently broken and doesn't give me any long-term benefit.
  2. Replace the motherboard/processor/RAM/graphics and audio This is the most labor intensive, and may not actually be substantially cheaper than replacing the whole machine.
  3. Get a new desktop computer. This will require the usual headaches of transferring data, settings, and such. Also will likely cost the most.
  4. Get another Laptop. Dispense with a desktop as a primary machine, and buy another laptop so that TBWITWW and I each have our own. The most expensive option, and still has the disadvatages of a new desktop, but with less space taken up and less opportunity to upgrade in the future.

#1 appeals to the cheap old man part of me.
#2 appeals to the uber-geek part of me.
#3 appeals to the "just get it done and shut-up about it" part of me (also known as TBWITWW).
#4 appeals to the "have less crap" part of me (which is actually quite small).

What would you do?

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