>If you prefer to own instead of rent, colo is an option
Looked at that as well. However, the cost variance to 'your own server' is negligible with most colo's. It is less attractive to me than leasing because now you are responsible for the hardware with limited access to the hardware. If it is on the rack next to your desk, you can fix anything or throw up a another box in a short time. If it is at a colo - you have to go diagnose the problem - then design a fix that will only work with that box - go get the fix - install it - and hope it works. No bonus points there - only down side. Everytime you want to throw another box at a problem, they are going to want that connection fee. If it is at your office - run 1 or 100 boxes - no worries.
Ownership is about control. About throwing a $1k static ram drive at a system to 'just see' what if? Or working your own load balancer on 4-5 servers for near-zero latency. You would no longer be a slave to high performance hardware and could easily get by with 4-5 modest servers that could share the load.
> oc3 card
The line card for the 7200VXR we looked at was $300 before discounts. (they have dropped profoundly in the last 2 years Bill). 3com has one out for their oc3 router that is $150 on amazon. The fibre OC3 we looked at into the office came with a line router included.
Part of what I want to toy with the extra ram is to setup a "read from ram - write to all ram/and hard disks" system to create a simple load balancer that would work in an almost unlimited number of boxes system. You read from src ram, and then write to control server that with write to all the hd's in your network - 100% real time syncing without the annoying delay (like /.) alot of load balancer systems have as they sync dbs.