"Those of us who have spent time with VRPC know that choice of components has a huge impact on system performance ... it takes a build time of about 24 hours for each RISCube/RISCBook that we sell!"
Wow, I'm really surprised by that. These days when building a PC it makes very little difference to the average user which components are used. It's more a matter of choosing a reputable brand and buying the fastest component you can afford. Basically put an Asus or MSI motherboard together with an AMD or Intel processor, graphics from ATI or Nvidia, any soundcard from a tenner, random harddisc and memory and you have yourself a respectable computer. (apart from the fact it's a PC) How respectable is just a matter of how much you spend. You can build the thing in an hour and install windows in an hour more.
So, what am I missing?
This is also an argument for buying single brand platforms such as Apple (or CTL I suppose). They control the hardware and the os. Things are bound to work.