Mine came to $5329 in (Edit: Ordered in December '02, shipping delay due to lack of a Platinum eX part) January of '03 (Alienware Area-51, Conspiracy Blue Dragon Tower). The 3GHz Pentium 4 had just come out and it was the first processor with Hyperthreading, I chose that. The Hercules build of the Radeon 9700 Pro had just been finalized and it came with ram sinks preinstalled, I chose that, I went with 1GB of PC1066 RDRAM (which benches presently in SiSoft Sandra on par with PC-3200 DDR ram, imagine that 2 and a half years ago), I chose the Audigy Platinum eX with the black breakout box, I picked up a FE991SB 19" CRT, the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers, Pioneer had just released the A05 DVD burner (4x dvd-r) so I picked that up along with a Plexwriter 20/10/40/12 DVD-Rom/CD-RW combo drive, I also chose dual internal 120GB Western Digital Special Edition HDs and the upgrade to the 550 watt PSU. I got the Conspiracy Blue case with Conspiracy Blue Intellimouse 3.0 and Conspiracy Blue Microsoft-something-keyboard, Intel Pro/1000 MT gigabit ethernet adapter was also quite new so I chose that too, and the 3 year warranty.
I pretty much chose the best choice for nearly every option. I also bought XP Pro and Office XP (ugh, expensive).
I've since added a NEC MultiSync LCD 1880sx (retailed for 1100, got it for 650 shipped on ebay, still not a single dead pixel in over 2 years), three 200GB hard drives in various external enclosures, one 250GB hard drive in another external enclosure, and a Logitech MX Duo.
All in all, this thing is damn expensive, but that said, I still hear people purchasing PC-3200 ram paired with 3GHz Pentium 4s with Hyperthreading, and the Radeon 9700 Pro was a god at its time, so it's pretty much still a top of the line system.
I want an ALX with the X2 4800+ and SLI 7800s (or better) as soon as this has outlived its use.
I love my Alienware desktop.
I recently picked up a laptop from Hypersonic PC (Aviator CX-5) for around $3k. 2GHz Pentium M had just come out, chose that, 1GB of PC-2700, Radeon 9700 Mobility, 60GB 7200RPM Hitachi Travelstar, 4x DVD+RW burner, 15" 1400x1050 display, XP Pro, recovery DVD, 2 year warranty, 2 year accidental damage protection coverage, spare battery, 1.15" thick, 6 pounds, 4 hours battery life (non-gaming) with wifi on, and it is blazingly speedy.
I love the laptop too =)
I have two homebrew computers that will take far too long to explain.