Someone asked, so here is a thread.
I built up a Freenas system. I've had several but in the end the prepackaged ones are sort of puny for guys like us who (1) are technical and (2) are capable of tweaking things.
Basically all you need is a little PC with a tiny (30gb is PLENTY) SSD to boot from and 3 or more HDD for data and this free software. Otherwise I've had decent results for low $$$ with the Lenovo units. The nice thing about the Freenas systems is they have significant computing power since they are intel based and have a lot of CPU and memory.
This makes it so you can for instance run PLEX media server and host your own mini Netflix on the box, do backups, and all sorts of other stuff an ARM or other minimal CPU box will struggle with.
Hope that helps!