Since this is my first attempt at building a PC completely from scratch as well as my first modding venture, I thought Id share a few of the highlights of the project as it progressed. Although Alienware was my inspiration for the vivid green color, Clems gets the real credit for encouraging me to go for it.

More importantly, I have to thank Dede for bankrolling this project, for not complaining about the mess, & for lots of encouragement — even though it meant having to go to Home Depot, which she absolutely hates!!

The little PC case that could.

It started life as an Acer Aspire Microtower.   I bought it from a seller on eBay for $15, figuring that I could mod the heck out of it and not be out much if it was a total loss.

I was captivated by the curvy bezel and unique CD-ROM door.   I didn’t realize it was a microATX case until it arrived — and the size would turn out to be quite a challenge later on...
The side and top panels are all one piece, which I was to find out later would complicate the painting process, but I like it anyway.

Notice the trim piece that continues that curvy bezel theme onto the top of the case.
Geared up for painting...   I closely followed Spiv’s article on case painting and it was a real lifesaver!

Per his advice, I used the same brand (Rustoleum) for the primer, paint, & high gloss clear enamel.   Did I mention how much I love Home Depot?
Just about to start...
Our old (t)rusty patio table made a convenient work surface for the painting and wet sanding.

I was really paranoid about fluorescent green overspray getting on anything, so I worked in the middle of the back yard.

This worked well until the gusty West Texas wind decided to blow for the entire next week solid and forced me to move the whole works into the storage building.
After several coats and wet-sanding sessions, here’s the almost completed case.   I used Duplicolor Vinyl & Fabric paint (dye) from Autozone for the plastic bezel & trim pieces.   Following Spiv’s advice, I was able to get a very glossy and mirror-like finish on the metal case.
Inside the case, I was about to begin my adventures with a borrowed Dremel (thanks Clems!) to adjust for the second fan on the Antec 350w power supply.   I had hoped that the existing cutout would line up completely with the intake fan, but some trimming was needed.
The almost completed cuts.   Working with a Dremel was a real kick — gonna have to put one of these on my wish list for Christmas...
As you’ll see in the next picture, there was no room for a regular Molex power connector for the CD-ROM drive — there was only about 3/8" clearance between that and the power supply!

So I summoned up the courage to mod the PSU (There goes my warranty!) with an ever-so-handy right-angle Molex connector, which was just about as perfect a fit as ever I’ve seen.
Now the fun begins.

I did mention that this is a microATX case, right?   Well, given the lack of breathing room between the CD-ROM (soon to be a DVD-ROM) and the power supply, you can begin to understand why I bought a PSU with a second fan.
Case size being a limiting factor, I ended up with an Epox EP-8KHM motherboard.   It had the main features I wanted (VIA KT266A chipset, DDR support, etc.) and none of the stuff I didn’t need, like RAID. With help from Clems and lots of nerve, I mounted the massive Tornado 7 heatsink onto the AMD Athlon XP 1900 processor.
Almost done, heres the bezel in place with the CD-ROM door working great.   I really like that feature and thanks go out to Stephen for having just the right size spring to make it all come together!
Done!   Despite cramped quarters, everything that I had planned for the new PC does indeed fit and the cables are neatly arranged.   That’s a Sound Blaster Live in the 1st slot, a 10/100 NIC in the 2nd, and a VisionTek Xtasy GeForce 4 Titanium 4200 nestled into the AGP slot.
Here’s a better view of the Mean Green Machine’s guts.

Airflow is quite good due to the second fan on the PSU and its long power cables that kept things neatly arranged.   My CPU temp sits around 36c when idle and peaks at 43c when under heavy load.

(Note the pretty green ZIP ties used to tidy up.)
All buttoned up and running like a top!

Thanks again to those who helped with research (HardOCP forums rule!), encouragement, & construction of this little beasty!