incrediBILL - 4:42 am on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
I don't see the server hardware as even remotely challenging (that's the fun part). I find it is more difficult to maintain a server at a data center.
Obviously you haven't run your own server farm before because it's all fun and games until something goes so horribly wrong you're down.
If you plan to keep everything up and running 24/7 with minimal downtime it's not cheap. You need clones of all your hardware with everything pre-installed and ready to swap at a moments notice because anything can break and needs replacing at any time.
Then there are things you may not be able to afford to protect against such as those fancy new routers that can thwart DDOS attacks, etc.
The biggest problem I ever had was 1) UPS batteries dropping dead all the time and 2) routing issues with the upstream provider which are far fewer now that I'm using a backbone like Peer 1 than when I was using a local solution provider.
BTW, Comcast never did resolve your DNS change many hours later. I could see the change almost immediately from my servers so I finally had to switch my PC to use OpenDNS and flush my cache and VOILA! here I am.
P.S. it's MUCH faster, hope it stays that way under a full load.