If you can live just fine with just one Gigabit Ethernet connector, six SATA2 ports and analog 5.1 audio you can safe yourself a lot of buckaroonies alright. Yes you'd have a fairly high performance 'regular' PC which certainly doesn't have to be expensive. Today we look at such a product, it's the all new H55 chipset based ECS H55H-M motherboard priced at roughly 55 EUR / 79 USD.
It comes in that all too familiar green PCB color, all the features you need to run a very decent PC, it's mATX based allowing much flexibility and even has a x16 PCIe slot should you want to seat a dedicated graphics card on it. And sure, being H55 -- if you pair it with a series 600 Core i5 processor or the Core i3 series (Clarkdale) processor you can make use of the embedded GPU inside that processor as well.