The Future: Multimedia PC "Separates"?

I enjoy the high res screen and compact design of my newish Sony VAIO notebook, but the bad news is I have had to send it back to CA TWICE already and the internal wireless card STILL doesnt work.

Despite the resurgance of popularity of integrated amps, one of the reasons audio dealers used to pitch "separates" over receivers was because if your tuner, for example, needed service, you could still use your amp and preamp, or better yet keep a back up around.

Which makes me wonder:

As PCs for audio and home theatre applications get more sophisticated, wouldnt there be advantages to having the hard drive, the processesors, audio and video cards, etc etc in separate chassis?

Or am I missing something?

If this makes sense, I would welcome any thoughts or ideas as I design a multi chassis PC system, using the gorgeous cases recommended by some of you in my other thread.

Thank you.
PC's are already a wiring nightmare. You want more cables going from chassis to chassis?

I have a friend that has external everything. His pile of wires gives new meaning to the term "rats nest".
Why get a laptop if you void any benefit of its size and portability by having to add multiple outboard items to it?
If you truely want that, sure you can have it, but it is nit ideal to think it would be practical to do it with anything other than a home PC. Yoy may very well not mean to a laptop, but you refrenced yours in your post.
It looks like there are several interesting, new "music servers" with an integrated CD reader/computer/disk storage (Zero One, Mcintosh, Cambridge) but I have the same concern - there are a lot of parts that can fail in these systems. Computers are not reliable in general and I would rather not have the risk of placing all these components in one box. Ideally, you would have a PC to read the data from disk, an external hard drive or network attached storage, a DAC, and possibly a device to take the data from the PC to the DAC. I like the system of separate components that Steve at Empirical Audio has developed which includes an off-ramp to covert the PC USB output to input to the DAC. Steve had a demo of his system at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and I was very impressed. He is currently developing a version that uses I2S instead of SPDIF for the data transfer between the off-ramp and DAC.

Is there a good argument for integrating all of these components into a single box? And any suggestions for other systems for PC audio that I should consider?
My point was that my laptop is a nightmare every time they break.

And sorry - I guess I should have said that I use my laptop as a "desktop" replacement with > 75% of my use at home.

Therefore, I want to build a more robust, high end, DESKTOP PC to replace it, and wondered if my dream machine might benefit from separate chassis, should I ever have a problem with any particular components or subset of the system.

Should I keep a laptop around, I think I will use it to wirelessly "surf" the main PC set up.

And just wondered if anyone else had thought about these issues or been irritated by their laptops.
It's a lot easier to repair a "desktop" PC than a laptop. Swapping motherboards, video boards are a piece of cake. So, if your video board dies, toss it in the garbage, and buy a new one. And, if you can't do it, the local shop or best buy will be more than willing to do it for you.