Realtek network cards are great, cost as little as $2.00 each. They never break.They also have atrocious busmaster performance due to broken design. Use RTL8139C+ or else get a Tulip instead.
Ditto the $10 internal modems,Winmodems -- real useful.
$7.50 sound cards,Sure, if you consider a 90dB S/N ratio good, or don't mind your CPU doing PCM streams mixing instead of other work.
Hard drives - different story. Quality control is slipping amongst all the manufacturers, but Maxtor by far is the worst. My Western Dig and Seagates still run like champs.Maxtor - We've found some bad blocks. Please backup all your data and RMA the drive.
Ribbing aside, anyone who intentionally buys a hard drive with a 1yr warranty from a mfg who also offers drives with a 3yr or 5yr warranty should have their head examined. You get what you pay for with respect to hard disk longevity.