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TheChas

At $400 it will be hard to build up a system unless you use used components. The computer component market in the US is pretty much geared toward gaming and other high end systems.

Windows 7 OEM is $90 to 140 US
AMD AM3+ motherboard with CPU and RAM is going to run at least another $100 if you keep it REAL low end. Figure on $250 for a reasonable system.
Then, at least another $100 for HDD, DVD, and case.
Add another $100 if you need a monitor.

The good news is that you can get motherboards with all the other parts built in, so you don't need a video card or NIC.

I use newegg for most of my computer part purchases. I have found it to cost just a few dollars more for new then for refurbs or older models at other sources.

I have had decent results with Biostar and ASUS motherboards. Gigibyte is another brand I would consider.

If I want to get an inexpensive system, I go to my local computer recycling center. They have low end (4 year old) systems for about $100 and newer systems for around $200.

As to consumer level systems, it is very difficult to buy a new system that does not have Windows 8 on it. Places like Tiger Direct or Comp USA might have a few Windows 7 systems.

Chas