This recent slashdot story is similar to something I’ve been wanting to do but never gotten around to. This pluto box really shouldn’t be very hard to build with commodity parts. I would probably cut out the PVR stuff so you could use really mediocre hardware, and I figure you could put this box together for well under a grand. The trick would be creating a nice GUI to tie the whole thing together. It really doesn’t sound hard, and once we got it right could be sold out of a garage (or apartment) online with minimal inventory required.
I’ve been working on getting a voicemail system running in my apartment with VOCP but it’s been tough finding a good modem with working Linux drivers. Working out all those hassles and then selling a box with known good hardware sounds like the way to go.
I’ll post back shortly when I make my first million.