I work at a college that has a pretty good replacement cycle as far as hardware and other things go. 3 years on desktop (lab and office) computers, 3-5 years on servers, monitors, scanners, printers, etc.
It's set up so that about 1/4 of the hardware gets replaced on campus every year. At the same time, there's a similar cycle for kitchen hardware, office furniture, and almost anything else you can think of at a college. Even vending machines.
So, what do they do with all that surplus STUFF? They auction it off around this time every year!
This year, I made like a bandit, practically stealing stuff. Most of it was obscure and no one knew what it was anyways.
$10 each: Three 400MHz UltraSparc-powered (64 bit) Sun Microsystems Ultra 5's. I sold one to Jon right after I bought it, I was only going to get 2 but he wanted in on the deal so I saved him the hassle of bidding). There had to be two dozen of these things scattered among various Dell and IBM horizontal desktop PC's. I'd bet most bidders thought they were Pentium 60 desktops.
$20: Dell 21" Flat screen trinitron CRT monitor. It has some issues (washed out and refresh lines) but I can probably fix it.
Then, I needed some SCSI CD-ROM/CD-RW/DVD-ROM (I didn't care which, just needed SCSI drives) to replace some dead drives on my CD-ROM server. I had to buy a whole pile of crap to get some external burners (I was going to gut the cases and put the RW's in my CD server) and ended up with a semi-functional HP OfficeJet (Fax/Scan/Print/Copy), some old hard-shell camcorder cases that I don't want, and another CD-ROM tower with an embedded network file server and 6 more SCSI CD-ROM drives. For $10 total.
I gutted 3 of the six CD-ROM drives from the tower, and one of the external CD-RW's was a parallel-to-IDE burner, so I didn't get to use that drive. The other burner was indeed SCSI, so now I have another burner in my CD Server, a full array of drives -- 2 CD-RW, 3 Slot-Load DVD, 4 Caddy-loading CD-ROM, 4 Tray-loading CD-ROM and a 73GB SCSI drive to archive DVD or CD's offline.
The remaining CD-Tower and my original CD Server both have Axis Storpoint embedded servers in them, but it turns out the one in my existing server has a lot of extra features. Both share files over NFS, NetWare, AppleTalk and HTTP, but my existing StorPoint has 2 SCSI channels instead of one, shares over FTP, and has more robust configuration ability. I shelved the old tower, but it still has 3 functional caddy-loaders if I ever felt like firing it up on my network.
I took the Ultra 5's and loaded Solaris 10 on one, and OpenBSD 3.7 on the other. I'm not sure what Jon plans on doing with his U5. He scored some other stuff at the auction as well, I'll let him chime in.