And was then astounded to discover how much more awesome they've become since I last bought one.
4GB of RAM
1GB ATI Radeon 5770 graphics card
What amazed me wasn't, actually, the specs. Those aren't that extreme nowadays. What amazed me was that all of that, plus Windows 7, a decent near-silent power supply, and quiet fans, etc. came to £650 (jncluding tax, delivery and three-year collect/return warranty).
I remember the first time I saw a a front page on PC Pro magazine exclaiming that one could now buy new computers for a mere £1000. Being able to buy a gaming rig for 2/3 of that is still pretty amazing to me. Which probably just goes to show how old I am.