1) used hardware is getting pretty cheap and i got a p3 933 for my home server for 65 $CND out of used computer store. i use it to run asterisk, jinzora and a buch of other stuff
2) cheap new stuff: computer hardware is a joke now and day: for exemple you could get a 1U server for less then 400$
3) Hosting and this is really the solution your looking for. hosting your own server is a lot of trouble. ask yourself
- do i know how to run a server and not get hacked ?
- what will hapen if the cheap machine broke ?
- is my internet connection enought ?
- do i have backup ?
- what hapen in case of a power cut ?